Chandigarh MC chief walks out of House meet after confrontation with BJP councillorUpdated: Oct 31, 2019, 00:22 IST
In an unprecedented development, municipal commissioner KK Yadav walked out of the civic body’s General House meeting on Wednesday, following a confrontation with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillor Anil Dubey over delay in development works.
This was the first time an MC chief walked out of a House meeting in Chandigarh.
Mayor Rajesh Kalia later adjourned the meeting to November 11 to avoid further confrontation between officials and councillors. None of the listed agendas was taken up.
The House proceedings began at 11am with Congress leader of opposition Devinder Babla slamming Yadav for not clearing estimates under the discretionary ward development funds of councillors.
Yadav said he has no role in clearing works approved under ward development funds since all powers were delegated to the chief engineer, and no councillor had come up to him with such complaints.
Former mayor Arun Sood also tried to corner Yadav on waste segregation issue.
However, the trigger for Yadav to leave the meeting was his confrontation with Anil Dubey, who represents Mauli Jagran.
Taking a jibe at the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer, Dubey told Yadav: “Aap IAS ki pareeksha ek baar deke aate ho… hume to har 5 saal deni padti hai (You sit for the IAS exam only once, while we have to contest elections every five years).”
To this, commissioner asked Dubey to refrain from making personal comments and said even IAS officers are tested everyday while performing their official duties.
“ Mujhe ye pareeksha har file pe har roz deni padti hai… Vigilance ya CBI kisi councillor ko nahi, officer ko hi pakadti hai. (I have to give this exam every day on files (official work)... The CBI or vigilance does not nab any councillor, but the officers (for any negligence)),” he said.
However, Dubey repeatedly questioned Yadav and other MC officials for not going for weekly inspections and sitting on proposed development works.
Yadav then turned to the mayor, telling him that he was being personally targeted for “vested interests”. He told the mayor that the House must run within decorum.
On this, Dubey hit back: “Aap hamesha hi councillors ko zaleel karte ho (You always humiliate councillors).”
This acted as the last straw, forcing the commissioner to leave the House.
Rushes to UT adviser, mayor adjourns meeting
Soon after walking out, Yadav went to UT adviser Manoj Parida’s office and briefed him about the entire episode.
Meanwhile, all councillors, including those from the Congress, huddled together.
The mayor called Yadav and asked him to return. Even the adviser asked the mayor to handle the situation.
While a section of councillors, led by Asha Jaswal and Arun Sood, questioned the MC chief’s move, calling it a disrespect to the House, the mayor got support from other councillors, who tried to pacify the situation.
Later, the mayor arrived in the House along with the MC commissioner and said the entire episode was unfortunate and should not have happened. He decided to adjourn the meeting to make sure the situation does not flares up.
Even as Congress councillors were part of the confrontation, local Congress president Pardeep Chhabra issued a statement, blaming the BJP for Yadav’s walkout. He said the MC has collapsed in just three years and “even its MP Kirron Kher is not taking any interest”.
Issue has been sorted out, says Yadav
Later, talking to HT, Yadav said: “The issue has been sorted out. Everyone will work in coordination for better functioning of the MC.”
Dubey, too, claimed his “intention was never to target the MC chief”.
“I know that there is fiscal crisis in the MC, but at least maintenance works should not stop,” he said.
However, sources close to the MC chief said the Wednesday episode was “pre-planned” as Yadav has initiated several reforms in service rules and field duties, “that have not gone down well with a section of officers and councillors”.
However, the mayor said the root cause of the confrontation was financial crisis. “I have conveyed this to the UT administrator and adviser,” he said.