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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

Councillors boycott MCG House meeting, want vote of no confidence against mayor

cities Updated: Dec 03, 2019 21:10 IST
Hindustantimes
         

Gurugram: The scheduled House meeting of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) could not take place on Tuesday after 13 councillors boycotted it as a mark of protest against exclusion of their seven-point agenda in the final list. It is the first time since the MCG came into being in 2008 that such a boycott was undertaken by councillors.

Later, 19 councillors met with divisional commissioner Ashok Kumar Sangwan and submitted a letter demanding that mayor Madhu Azad, senior deputy mayor Pramila Kablana, and deputy mayor Sunita Yadav be removed from their position under section 75 of the Haryana Municipal Corporation Rules, 1994.

The House meeting started around 11.30am at the civic body’s Sector 34 office in the presence of MCG officials, including commissioner Amit Khatri.

Officials said that within a few minutes, RS Rathee, councillor of ward 34, who was spearheading the protest, demanded that Azad permit the discussion of seven agenda points put across by the 13 councillors.

As per Azad, who chaired the meeting, she agreed to discuss the points before the House, though she alleged that Rathee wanted only those seven points to be discussed and the remaining, which had been approved, to be exempted from Tuesday’s meeting.

“I agreed to their agenda points being discussed before the House. However, they wanted the already approved agenda points to be removed entirely and only have discussion on their points, which I refused. They then left the meeting. Though there were more than one-third of the total number of councillors needed for conducting a House meeting, I decided against conducting it until all councillors are present,” said Azad.

Upon Azad’s refusal, the 13 councillors walked out and were joined by six more councillors.

A minimum of 12 councillors are needed for conducting a House meeting. Following the boycott, 16 councillors were still available.

The approved agenda points, which were to be discussed in the meeting, included constructing and repairing arterial roads, landscaping, and distributing sewer lines in internal sectors.

The 13 councillors wanted points such as giving the executive powers to approve sanitation work, passing projects costing under ₹1 crore, and hiring and terminating MCG’s outsourced workers to be deliberated in Tuesday’s meeting.

“Most of the agenda points brought forward by the 13 councillors have already been approved in previous House meetings over the last two years. The main contention is that the government is yet to approve the same as the points are pending approval from Urban Local Bodies (ULB). We have sent nine reminders for some of the agenda points to the ULB and will hold a discussion with councillors. We will compile a list of the points that are pending ULB’s approval so that the same can be presented before Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and ULB minister Anil Vij for fast-tracking the process,” said Azad.

Rathee said that the approved agenda points were redundant as they had been approved in previous meetings of the finance and contract committee (F&CC) and no further discussion was required on them.

“The approved agenda points have already been passed in previous meetings. There was no point discussing the same again and wasting time. We only wanted our seven agenda points to be discussed. Once it was not granted, we walked out. We have submitted a formal letter signed by 19 councillors to the divisional commissioner for removing the three mayors from their posts as we feel our views, and the people at large, are being ignored. A fresh set of councillors are needed at the positions,” said Rathee.

Rathee further said that Sangwan issued directions to Khatri to conduct a vote of no confidence meeting within the next two weeks.

However, Khatri said that he was yet to receive any such directions from the divisional commissioner. Requisite actions will be carried out if such an order is received, he said.

Despite repeated attempts, Sangwan could not be reached for a comment.

While senior deputy mayor Kablana declined to comment on the matter, deputy mayor Sunita Yadav said, “I was on my way to the MCG House meeting when I came to know that it had been cancelled. I have limited information on the issue, and have no knowledge of the submission of the no-confidence letter. Regardless, I agree with the agenda points raised by the 13 councillors and a meeting will be soon conducted with all the councillors where all these issues will be addressed amicably.”

The three mayors were elected by the 35 councillors on November 3, 2017.

BOX: The 19 councillors that signed the letter

Kuldeep Vohra councillor ward 31, Hemant Kumar councillor ward 28, Kuldeep Yadav councillor ward 29, Dharambeer councillor ward 21, Naveen Dahiya councillor ward 12, Mahesh Dayma councillor ward 30, Praveen Lata councillor ward 26, Sudesh Rani councillor ward 27, Subhash Fauzi councillor ward 25, Sanjay Kumar councillor ward 14, Ashwani Kumar councillor ward 23, Sheetal Bagri councillor ward 10, Seema Pahuja councillor ward 15, Kusum Yadav councillor ward 35, Brahm Yadav councillor ward 13, Dinesh Saini councillor ward 8, Virender Raj councillor ward 4, RS Rathee councillor ward 34, and Kapil Dua councillor ward 20.