BJP councillors raise banner of revolt against Shimla mayor

The mayor drew resentment for water crisis as she was away on a week-long study tour to China.

india Updated: Jun 20, 2018 15:00 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times, Shimla
BJP councillors,Shimla mayor,Shimla water crisis
Shimla municipal corporation mayor Kusum Sadrate(HT Photo)

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) faced a banner of revolt from within as more than a dozen councillors revolted against Shimla municipal corporation mayor Kusum Sadrate. Councillors demanded an immediate removal of the mayor on Tuesday.

More than a dozen councillors demanded her resignation and submitted a dissent letter to education minister Suresh Bhardwaj, who is also a local legislator. Councillors alleged that mayor was functioning in arbitrary manner. “We all are councillors from ruling party. Mayor is functioning in an arbitrary manner,” Shalender Chauhan said, a BJP councillor from Sanjauli.

In a 34-member house, BJP has 19 councillors and Congress 14 and one from Communist Party of India. It was in 2017 that the BJP wrested Shimla municipal corporation after a gap of 34 years. Kusum Sadarate, a councillor from Annandale ward, was elected mayor while Rakesh Sharma, was appointed her deputy. BJP had won 17 seats and Sharma who contested as independent candidate supported BJP, helping saffron party gain majority.

Councillors complaint of slowed down development

BJP councillors are ruing lack of developmental works in town. “Developmental work has slowed down. We are accountable to people who have voted and supported us,” said a woman councillor who requesting anonymity. Majority of councillors hailing from BJP are also resenting the municipal corporation failure to tackle water crises in Shimla that have adversely impacted tourism industry. Mayor Kusum Sadrate drew flax for the water crisis as she was away on a week-long study tour to China. Her absence during the water crisis led to angry protests on the streets and gave a tool to Congress to hit back at the BJP. Many BJP councillors had themselves organised a sit in to protest water shortage.

Mayor denies allegations

Shimla mayor Kusum Sadrate, who has a backing from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), denies allegations against her. “Whatever is possible I am doing that for development of the town. I try and assist all the councillors. I am delivering whatever is possible,” mayor Kusum Sadrate said. “I have full support from the government as well as the organisation,” she said.

Opposition criticises BJP

Communist Party of India (Marxist) has termed the BJP-led Shimla municipal corporation, which completed one year in office, a complete failure.

“Civic body has failed to perform its duties entrusted by the Constitution of India and should be dissolved,” said CPI(M) state secretariat member and former Shimla mayor Sanjay Chauhan.

First Published: Jun 20, 2018 15:00 IST