*Cong-BJP clash over Art 370
Sanjeev K. Sharma
JAMMU, Dec 11: Passage of resolutions clubbed with clash with comments-counter comments over abrogation of Article 370 marked the business in General House Meeting (GHM) of Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) which assembled here today after nine months.
The House started its business at about 11 in the morning with paying tributes to Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika, his Defence Advisor Brigadier L.S Lidder and 10 other personnel of defense forces recently killed in a chopper crash in Tamil Naidu.
After paying tributes as the JMC Mayor, Chander Mohan Gupta started his address, Chief Whip of opposition Congress, Dwarka Chowdhary interrupted questioning lapse of nine months for General House Meeting.
“Who will be answerable to the sufferings of people in those nine months and many developmental works have lapsed as there was no GHM during this period,” the Congress leader maintained holding the Mayor responsible for this long delay.
Over this, the Mayor agreed that the meeting was late and cited COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for it over which Dwarka Chowdhary countered saying: “How come political rallies took place in that period amidst the same pandemic.”
Then proceedings of the House proceeded smoothly in which many resolutions were taken and passed till BJP Councillor Ashok Singh Manhas of Ward 59 gave reminder on the passed resolution regarding holiday on birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh on September 23.
Cutting across party lines, all the Councillors in the House supported Manhas and demanded that a reminder should be sent to the Government regarding the holiday and the Mayor assured that a reminder in that regard will soon be given to the Government.
Over this, Congress Councillor, Rajni Bala of Ward 60 commented that BJP has abrogated Article 370 granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir which was brought by Maharaja Hari Singh to preserve the identity of erstwhile J&K State.
This invited reaction from BJP Councillors who said that it was not Maharaja Hari Singh but Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India who brought “controversial Article 370” to J&K.
Provoked by the remarks by BJP on Nehru, all the Congress Councillors stood and came in support of Rajni Bala.
This verbal fight continued amidst which BJP Councillor Gurmeet Kour Randhawa took on Ranjni Bala saying: “Desh Drohion Ki Bhasha Na Bolo Behna, Yeh 370 Nehru Ji Ki Aur Sheikh Abdullah Ki Daen Thi Aur Ab Modi Ji Ne Yeh Khatam Kar K Dafan Kar Dia Hai (don’t speak the language of anti-nationals sister. Article 370 was given by Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah and now PM Modi has finished and buried it).
This discussion continued for some minutes after which the House proceeded smoothly.
It is pertinent to mention here that there is a demand from many quarters of J&K regarding holiday on birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh, the last Dogra ruler of J&K.
Councillor Ashok Manhas also demanded beautification of park area surrounding statue of Maharaja Hari Singh at Tawi Bridge with lights etc.
Resolution by Gurmet Kour Randhawa, BJP Councillor of Ward 69 demanding installation of statue of Maharaja Hari Singh at a Chowk on his name in Sainik Colony was also passed.
Resolution of Sobat Ali Choudhary, Congress Councillor of Ward 74 demanding proper demarcation of JMC Wards especially the four newly formed Wards was also approved.
It is pertinent to mention here that Ward Nos. 72, 73, 74 and 75 are newly formed JMC Wards.
Rajinder Sharma, BJP Councillor of Ward number 16 brought a resolution demanding that demolition drives by JMC should be started after the General House of elected JMC Councilors permits it, was passed.
New building bylaws were brought to the House for adopting the same but Councillor Rajinder Sharma interrupted demanding discussion on those after which the Mayor assured that discussion will be held on them soon.
On resolution by Deputy Mayor, Purnima Sharma regarding changing name of road from CPO to RSS Office in Abmphalla, Rajinder Sharma again interrupted claiming that JMC is not the competent authority for changing names of roads.
Resolution regarding naming Shakuntala Chowk as Guru Nabha Dass Chowk was also passed along with resolution by Dwarka Chowdhary demanding parking place at Sanjay Nagar near the bank of a Nallah opposite to the workshop of a popular sweet shop.
Resolution by Yash Pal Sharma, Councilor of Ward number 35 who is also Chairman Swachch Bharat Committee, regarding Food Safety Department to seek clearance from JMC before issuing license to meat shops was also given nod.
Resolution by Narotam Sharma, BJP Councillor of Ward number 3 demanding 50 per cent employment to locals in projects of Smart City like metro railway, expressway, Tawi River Front etc was approved.
Another resolution passed was that of Jeet Angral, BJP Councillor of Ward 12 demanding installation of CCTV cameras at public parks, Chowks and entrance of all the Wards of JMC so that activities of anti-social elements can be checked.
Though the business of the House continued till 6:20 pm yet many questions were not taken for discussion.
*Cong-BJP clash over Art 370