Councillors of the BJP-ruled Morbi municipality have requested Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel to reconsider the decision to dissolve the civic body in the aftermath of the October 30 bridge collapse tragedy.
All 52 councillors of the municipality belong to the BJP. Of them, 49 have written a letter to Patel, urging him not to dissolve the municipality.
A suspension bridge on Machchhu river in the town collapsed on October 30, killing 135 persons.
It was alleged that the private firm which had been awarded the contract to maintain it was lax.
"The agreement between the municipality and Oreva group for the maintenance of the bridge was signed without the knowledge of the elected body. It was the chief officer who had taken that decision and none of us was aware of it," said Devabhai Avadiya, a councillor.
"Moreover, this agreement or proposal was never put up for discussion and voting before the general board. Through this letter, 49 councillors have urged the CM not to punish us for the mistakes of others. We are equally pained by the deaths, but we were not responsible for this tragedy in any way," he told PTI.
The councillors would be meeting the chief minister and other senior leaders in Gandhinagar on Monday.
Elections to the Morbi Municipality were held in February 2021 and the BJP made a clean sweep.
The government on December 13 told the Gujarat High Court -- which took cognisance of the tragedy on its own and registered a Public Interest Litigation -- that it had decided to dissolve the municipality.
The government also assured the court that it will initiate disciplinary proceedings against Morbi chief officer S V Zala who was suspended after the bridge collapse.
Zala was the chief officer when the agreement with Oreva Group was signed in March 2022.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)