Mussoorie: April 2nd 2008
A sleepy hill station town of Mussoorie woke up amidst drum beating and slogan shouting.
The greatest festival of democracy “Elections” were back in otherwise a non happening town, also known as “Queen OF Hills”, situated in Shivalik Ranges of Uttarakhand, Northern state of India, with the population of around 20,000/-.
It was day of filing nominations for the post of President/Chairman, Mussoorie Municipal Board, equivalent to Mayor of cities and the members/Councilors for the respective wards (11 in total).
The nomination process began with the President Elect of last term Man Mohan Singh Mall the candidate of Indian National Congress Party, filing his nomination for the coveted post for the second time. He presented his papers on to the Election Officer the Sub-divisional Magistrate at around 12.30 p.m. for verification and allotment of symbol (Hand).
After the nomination process, the jubilant supporters marched in a procession towards Gandhi Chowk where the rally culminated.
Man Mohan Singh mall addressed the gathering and reiterated the fact that if elected again he would continue the Record breaking development work which were initiated by him in his previous tenure as the president Mussoorie.
However, the claims vehemently refuted by arch rival for the post of president O.P.Uniyal, a B.J.P Candidate the right wing Hindu Nationalist Party, filed his nomination on 30th April 2008, on party symbol (lotus).
Khajan Das the Member of legislative Assembly (M.L.A.) in the present B.J.P Government in the state came out in support of O.P.Uniyal asserting the fact that O.P.Uniyal was a man with clean image. He further stated that if elected he will be fully supported by the government in the state on all development issues of the town.
O.P.Uniyal blamed the congress candidate Man Mohan Singh Mall for the corruption in the board and systematic destruction of Mussoorie.
While addressing the large gathering of 2000 supporters at Gandhi Chowk he reminded the people of Mussoorie about the rampant corruption, exposed by the fellow congress, ward members in the previous regime.
Aggravating the chances of the sitting President Man Mohan Singh Mall, F.I.R was lodged at local police station against him for embezzlement of tax payer’s money by the revenue officials during his tenure.It is alleged that the corruption is worth 30 crores.
Refuted strongly by Man Mohan Singh Mall, “it is a conspiracy against me,” the whole issue has been fabricated to tarnish his image.
O.P.Uniyal the B.J.P Candidate (Symbol Lotus) for the post of president outlining his priority for the roadmap of development requested the common man to throw out the corrupt President.. He asked the gathered public to be the judge in deciding what kind of leader they need for their town.
“The nexus of real estate/Builder Mafia has led to distortion of the beautiful town Mussoorie. “The Queen of Hills” has become “Queen of ills” Under the rule of Man Mohan Singh Mall”. Said O.P.Uniyal.
Only the near and dear ones of the previous president have benefited via contracts for large infrastructure works taken up by the Municipal Board.
O.P. Uniyal further promised the people of Mussoorie that he will stand along with the common man in his endeavor to reduce there hard ship in given times.
The priority will be to
Develop the neglected areas for e.g. khatta pani, Jharipani which have not seen the daylight of development into tourist Hub.
Environment friendly development
Improve drinking water situation, by bringing Jal Swaraj policy
Make the Municipal Board More transparent in its working
To wage a war against corruption at all possible levels.
Providing youth with a Sports stadium.
Facilitating the poor women to open their own small scale industry.
In the end of his electoral speech O.P.Uniyal, thanked people for the support and they have shown towards him.
It is important to note that alleged corruption charges against Manmohan Singh Mall are worth couple of crores.
However the awareness level of the voter of Mussoorie is immense and at the moment their silence has increased the heartbeat of the contestents.