MLAs groan as councillors steal projects

In a Congress state,where Opposition BJP rules the municipality,the race has begun on who can shop more goodwill before the general elections.

Written by Rohinee Singh | New Delhi | Published: February 27, 2009 1:06 am

In a Congress state,where Opposition BJP rules the municipality,the race has begun on who can shop more goodwill before the general elections.

With councillors now flush with funds — their limit doubled recently to Rs 2 crore — MLAs,and mostly those of the Congress,are making noises that they do not get the opportunity to spend their ‘local area development’ money for their constituencies.

State Health Minister Kiran Walia has four BJP councillors in her domain and is finding it tough to use her funds. “The councillors also have the civic body in their favour.” Walia said a road in Green Park she wanted repaired got hijacked by the local councillor at the last minute. Model Town MLA Kanwar Karan Singh agrees. He said: “Why do councillors need more funds? A ward is much smaller than a constituency. They should coordinate with us on developing the common area.”

Congress MLAs complained to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday. Dikshit is likely to write to the Lieutenant Governor (L-G). An MLA said: “We want to know why councillors have the same amount of money as MLAs and MPs? We also want the LG to monitor their expenses. After all,the Delhi government funds the civic body.”

Several BJP MLAs are also grumbling. They believe councillors want to take credit for everything. “This is putting me in the backseat,” a BJP legislator said.

MCD’s Standing Committee Chairman Vijender Gupta added: “The CM cannot meddle in this. The House is the final authority on the allotted amount.”

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