High drama broke out on Thursday during voting on a no-confidence motion against Patiala Mayor Sanjeev Sharma Bittu, with Punjab minister Brahm Mohindra claiming that the city’s municipal corporation chief has been suspended after he lost the trust vote.
Dismissing Mohindra’s claim that the mayor has been suspended after he lost confidence by 11 votes, Bittu, a protege of former chief minister Amarinder Singh, said he needed only 21 votes and he could easily get the required number. has achieved.
Mohindra had claimed that Bittu had lost the motion after securing only 25 votes in his favor and 36 votes against him. I am not a new mayor being elected which required 31 votes (of councillors). Bittu told reporters in Patiala that under the no-confidence motion that was brought, I needed a third, which I got.
Mohindra, however, claimed that the mayor of the Patiala Municipal Corporation has failed to prove his majority. This is a victory for the elected councillors. Mohindra said the mayor has been suspended after he lost the trust vote.
Mohindra said that senior deputy mayor Yoginderpal Singh Yogi will take over as the mayor till the new mayor is elected. Bittu’s victory was considered important for Amarinder Singh and Patiala was his stronghold. However, while most Congress councilors had earlier secured tickets on the recommendations of Preneet Kaur, the Patiala MP and Amarinder’s wife, the fact that 36 voted against Bittu shows that they have switched their loyalties.
Patiala MC has one house with total strength of 63 which includes three sitting MLAs. Two members abstained from voting. During the voting process in Patiala, there was a lot of drama.
There were uncontrolled scenes inside the Patiala Municipal Corporation during the voting on the no-confidence motion, with some councilors supporting Bittu alleging that some of them were dragged by some unidentified people to stop them from casting their votes. A week ago, the councilors of the majority had sent a demand letter to the mayor expressing no confidence, after which Bittu decided to convene a meeting of the general assembly on Thursday to prove the majority.
Former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was also present. His convoy was stopped long before the Patiala MC office, but he walked towards the building.
His daughter Jai Inder Kaur, however, was sitting on the stairs outside the main gate of the Patiala MC office after the concerned authorities refused entry.
Amarinder Singh, who has floated his own outfit after his unofficial exit as Punjab chief minister, alleged that despite criminal intimidation and handing over of councillors, the state government could not win a no-confidence vote against Mayor Sanjeev Sharma Bittu.
Condemning the alleged arbitrariness and brutal use of state machinery by the state government to remove the mayor, the former chief minister cautioned the officials to blindly follow the government’s instructions as they would be held accountable by law. In order to pass a motion of no confidence to remove the mayor, there must be a two-thirds support against the motion. He later said in a statement, despite knowing he lacked the numbers, he tried to forcibly and illegally remove the mayor.
He also said that according to the rules, a mayor cannot be removed by simple majority. The former Chief Minister congratulated the councilors who stood firm despite criminal threats by the government.
He regretted that the government was trying to use the state machinery, including the police, by illegal means to remove the legally elected mayor. Captain Amarinder Singh said that he would use all available legal and constitutional means to check the illegal action of the government.
This government is only for a few more weeks, but you have a long career ahead. So don’t invite wrath and strictness of law and don’t spoil your career, he advised the officials.