In a midnight drama, the Rajasthan government suspended the mayor of Jaipur Greater Municipal Corporation. The state government’s urban development department order provides that apart from mayor Saumya Gurjar, three corporators—Ajay Singh Chauhan, Paras Jain and Shankar Sharma were also suspended.
The mayor was suspended for misbehaving and manhandling the municipal commissioner Yagya Mitra Singhdeo, an IAS officer. The Jaipur Greater Municipal Corporation is ruled by the BJP while the second corporation of the Pink City—Jaipur Heritage Municipal Corporation—is ruled by Congress. Both have women mayors.
Urban development minister Shanti Dhariwal approved the suspension of the mayor and the three corporators. After obtaining the approval of the minister, the director of local bodies, Deepak Nandi, issued the suspension order around midnight. The mayor was suspended under section 39(6) of the Rajasthan Municipality Act, 2009, on Sunday night.
Mayor levels allegations against commissioner
The mayor and the commissioner on Friday had an altercation over the lifting of garbage by a contractor firm. During the heated exchange, the mayor accused the commissioner of favouring the garbage lifting company and making money in the process.
Following this, the commissioner lodged a complaint in the Jyoti Nagar police station against the mayor. The commissioner alleged that the mayor misbehaved with her and used abusive language. The complainant also reported that the corporators—Jitendra Srimali, Arun Verma, Meenakshi Sharma, Paras Jain, Shakti Prasad Yadav, Ramesh Prajapat, Praveen Yadav and Ajay Singh Chauhan physically manhandled him.
On June 5 after the incident, the state government issued an order and deputed an official of the directorate of the local bodies (DLB), Renu Khandelwal to conduct an inquiry. After the inquiry was ordered, the security guards of the mayor were removed. On the report of Khandelwal, the officials held a high-level meeting where it was decided to suspend the mayor and three corporators. The inquiry is still on.
Mayor levels allegation against Congress govt in Rajasthan
Mayor Soumya Gurjar said the BJP won the municipal election and the people gave the BJP the mandate to form the board in the Jaipur Greater Municipal Corporation. But the Congress government unlawfully suspended her without giving her an opportunity to express her viewpoint and her part of the story, Gurjar alleged.
The mayor and the other suspended corporators will approach the court challenging the suspension. Rajasthan BJP president Satish Poonia said that the Congress government has taken a wrong decision for which it will have to pay a heavy price.
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