Ghaziabad mayor picks only BJP councillors for study tour, draws flak from other parties
According to mayor Asha Sharma, who contested on a BJP ticket and won, the training session was held on January 15-16 in Panchkula and attended by 10 BJP councillors “who were known to her”noida Updated: Jan 16, 2018 22:55 IST
A two-day training session in Panchkula, Haryana, attended by 10 newly elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillors of the Ghaziabad municipal corporation, has come under severe criticism from councillors of other political parties.
The councillors said that the mayor took along only BJP councillors, neglecting participation of councillors from other parties.
Councillors Anil Swami, Rekha Jain, Sanjeev Tyagi, Sanjay Singh, Manoj Goel, Rajendra Singh Titoria, Bijender Chauhan, Himanshu Mittal, Himanshu Love and Sakshi Narang accompanied the mayor on the study tour.
According to mayor Asha Sharma, who contested on a BJP ticket and won, the training session was held on January 15-16 in Panchkula and attended by 10 BJP councillors “who were known to her”.
“They are all known to me and from our party. It is so because I have not been able to get formally acquainted with the other councillors and the first board meeting has still not been held. I don’t know how many councillors are from BSP, Congress, etc,” Sharma said.
“As of now, the parties have not nominated a leader who can represent their councillors in the House. The training by the organisation in Panchkula is free of cost and we have borne our travelling expenses,” she said.
Sharma said the two-day training programme gave an insight to councillors on the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, the Swachh Bharat Mission, Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana and Smart City initiatives of the Central government.
She added that the letter for the training was sent by the state government to the municipal commissioner and he forwarded it to her for action.
However, the officials of the Ghaziabad municipal corporation said the mayor was supposed to nominate 10 councillors for the training and officials had no role in the selection of councillors.
“The tour and the training programme was sponsored by the Centre and was to be executed through the state government. All expenses for the training are to be borne by Centre while the TA/DA will be borne by the local body,” said CP Singh, municipal commissioner.
The councillors from other parties have raised serious objections over the issue and condemned the mayor’s action.
“This is an insult for councillors of the opposition parties. Mayor is the head of all councillors. She even took along her brother, who is a councillor. We will strongly protest in the upcoming meeting and will not allow reimbursement of their travelling expenses. Not a single councillor from any opposition party was consulted or given knowledge about the study tour,” said Manoj Chaudhary, Congress councillor from ward 53.
“We will take up the issue in our next board meeting. It was a tour by the government and was meant for all councillors. The mayor showed her partiality by taking only BJP councillors. She should have considered other councillors as well,” said Arvind Chaudhary, the leader of BSP councillors who was elected from ward 24.