Mayor Afzal Imam succeeded in retaining his chair on Thursday, as the no-confidence motion brought by his opponents fell short by one vote.
According to the municipal act, 37 votes were required to evict Imam from the mayor’s chair. Thirty-nine councillors polled and the motion lost 36-1. (See chart)
Deepak Chaurasia, the ward 2 councillor, said two votes in favour of the motion were cancelled because the councillors did not put the stamp on the correct place. He said: “We had the required strength to win the no-trust motion. Mayor Imam can take his victory as sheer good luck, otherwise he does not have the majority in the House.”
According to the Bihar Municipal Act, if equal number of votes is polled in favour and against a motion, the meeting’s chairperson has the right to cast the deciding vote. Former deputy mayor Vinay Kumar Pappu tried to invoke this clause after the counting of votes. PMC commissioner Kuldip Narayan, however, told the councillors the deciding vote was not applicable, as all 72 members did not vote.
Pappu, Chaurasia and former mayor Sanjay Kumar had moved the no-confidence motion against Imam on June 16 for irregularity in holding meetings of empowered standing committee and the PMC board among other reasons.
Ward 38 councillor Sushma Sahu, in a debate before the voting, said: “Mayor Imam favoured only a few councillors, while allotting funds against various schemes. He did not hold meetings of the standing committee and the PMC board regularly, delaying various schemes.”
Denying all the allegations, Imam said: “The commissioner was hand in glove with the opposing councillors and tried to manipulate the voting by trying to bring the ‘deciding vote’ clause. No one can claim that I did not hold the meetings regularly. I can only sanction funds, execution is the responsibility of the administrative officers, including the commissioner.”