Sanjeev K Sharma
Jammu, Nov 6: Ruckus was witnessed in the fourth General House Meeting (GHM) of Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) today with opposition Congress Councillors raising the issue of corruption in JMC and questioning PM Modi’s popular slogan of corruption free India. This triggered immediate response from the BJP members who went on to say that Congress’ bigwigs like Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are on bail for corruption charges while Ex-Finance Minister and senior Congress leader, P. Chidambram is in jail for scams.
Such verbal attacks and counter-attacks continued for about two hours as soon as the House assembled at 11:00 am wherein the opposition Congress members even taunted their BJP counterparts by slogans of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Jai Shree Ram” and the latter too raised similar slogans in response.
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Amit Gupta and Gorav Chopra were prominent among Congress Councillors demanding answer from JMC Mayor, Chander Mohan Gupta and Commissioner, Pankaj Mangotra to the corruption allegations on Enforcement Officer by BJP Councillor, Pawan Singh in the last GHM which was adjourned abruptly by the Mayor amidst ruckus.
To counter corruption charges by opposition Congress, Narotam Sharma, Sumit Raina, Gurmeet Kour Randhawa, Surinder Chowdhary, Jeet Angral and other BJP members were on their toes and they said that Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are on bail for corruption charges.
They asked the protesting opposition Congress members to let the House function and there was almost a din in the Houses in which nothing could be heard properly.
The Mayor kept on asking the members to take their seats and speak on their turn but none paid any heed to him even though he went on to say that he will again adjourn the House like he did in earlier GHM but even this warning failed to yield any positive result.
At this Independent Councillor, Ghar Singh Chib was seen asking Gorav Chopra and Amit Gupta to take their seats and let the House function but even this yielded nothing.
Anyhow, the commotion ended after some time and the proceedings moved ahead and the members raised different sort of issues wherein the JMC Commissioner and the Mayor asked the officers of different wings of JMC present there to clarify the issues raised by the members.
Many proposals like deducting Rs 100 from salaries of the Councillors for a reserve fund to be used in emergency situation were moved along with the one of not releasing salaries of electricians and others without signature of Councillors.
Ghar Singh said that JMC authorities are doing ‘Lara-Lappa’ (befooling) the members as everything remains on papers and no work is being done on the ground.
He raised the issue of poor water and power supply in his Ward (Akalpur area) and said that the roads there were blacktopped 13 years back.
Chib asked the JMC Commissioner and Mayor to visit his Ward and demanded funds double to what are allotted to other Wards as the new Ward which needs more things and that too from the beginning.
As the proceedings continued Pawan Singh stood up and continued the issue of corruption left by him in the last GHM. He asked the JMC Commissioner and the Mayor to clarify why the enforcement wing of JMC harasses poor people who even start to raise a petty wall while bigwigs constructing shopping malls are never touched.
He claimed that there are thousands of such illegal constructions which are going on in the city by the influential people.
“When I objected to such illegal constructions, they (those involved in illegal constructions) say that they have paid hefty amounts as graft to JMC people,” Pawan Singh claimed.
At this the Commissioner Pankaj Mangotra intervened and said that JMC has acted tough against encroachers and violators of building permission cases with actions like sealing of the illegal structures and attachment of Enforcement Officer.
He assured that strict action against the Enforcement Officer will follow after the investigation report.
This further prompted Pawan Singh to say that sealing on such structures are easily removed by court orders as the people involved are very much well off and they can easily secure orders from the court to their benefit.
As Pawan Singh continued and speak for over an hour, this irked other members who questioned the seven minutes allocation of time by the presiding officer-Mayor.
Anyhow, some members said that Pawan should continue while some objected to that while Independent Councillor, Raj Kumar staged a walkout in protest saying that he was not there to sit only and listen only.
He was also demanding time to speak.
Probably referring to the Mayor, Sucha Singh said: “At least let your own party members (BJP) to speak if you don’t let others to speak.”
This was a quite long working of the House that continued till 7:45 pm.
The next assembly of the House for GHM will be there after some days but the date was not announced.