Hassled Jaipur mayor takes to the streets

Hassled Jaipur mayor takes to the streets

Cornered by the BJP and virtually abandoned by her own Congress party, city mayor Jyoti Khandelwal took to the streets on Saturday.

She staged a sit-in here to protest against the alleged unruly behaviour of Bharatiya Janata Party councillors during the general body meeting of Jaipur Municipal Corporation the previous day.

In Jaipur’s civic body, the BJP commands a majority while Khandelwal, who is the first directly-elected mayor, belongs to the Congress, which is in minority.

Accusing the BJP members of creating disturbance in the meeting, Khandelwal announced a  sit-in at Gandhi Circle on Saturday morning.

But very few councillors from her party showed up for the dharna.

“After the dharna, Khandelwal marched towards Gandhi Circle with hardly 50 supporters, for which they did not have the permission. So all of them were dispersed peacefully under section 129 of CrPC,” a senior police officer said.

The mayor had plans to hold a protest and distribute food packets to her supporters at Gandhi Circle, which was not allowed because they only
had permission to hold the dharna at JDA Circle, the officer said.

Ever since her election as the mayor, Khandelwal  has been waging a running battle against the officials, affecting the functioning of the corporation. While she has been cornered by an aggressive BJP, she is also not getting along well with the corporation CEOs appointed by the government.

The government has changed six officers in two years since she was elected as mayor. Now she is seeking removal of the present CEO Lok Nath Soni, accusing him also of corruption.

Fed up with her demands, the Congress-run state government and the party have now begun ignoring her.

On Friday, she turned up at the Pradesh Congress Committee’s office to meet the party’s state president Chandrabhan, seeking his intervention on her demand to remove the CEO. 

But he did not give her an audience. Khandelwal could meet him only when he came out of the office for lunch. She also met chief minister Ashok Gehlot recently, but he too did not pay heed to her demand.

Even her mentor and Jaipur MP Mahesh Joshi has turned against her.  

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