Trouble between AAP MLAs and BJP councillors in the South Delhi Municipal Corporation had begun months before they publicly locked horns over the utilisation of Local Area Development (LAD) funds. In December, the eight-member questions and references committee of the Delhi Assembly quizzed the SDMC commissioner for allegedly not executing works under MLA LAD funds.
But records show that 26 AAP MLAs, with constituencies under the SDMC’s jurisdiction, have not sanctioned any funds for the corporation this financial year. There is even an unspent balance of Rs 3.27 crore from the previous fiscal. Each MLA gets funds up to Rs 4 crore which can be spent for local area development.
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The dispute began after the SDMC, on November 25, passed two resolutions stating that “No LED lights should be installed/replaced on the roads/streets under the jurisdiction of SDMC by utilising MLA fund” and “No children’s play equipments should be installed in parks under the jurisdiction of SDMC by utilising MLA fund”. Deputy CM Manish Sisodia had accused both the BJP and the AAP of misusing the House to pass such resolutions and urged the Director Local Bodies not to execute two resolutions.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Greater Kailash MLA Sourabh Bhardwaj said, “MLAs are not being given No-Objection-Certificates to carry out developmental works in their respective constituencies.”
But the BJP alleges that AAP MLAs do not want to fund projects that are necessary. “We have asked for funds for repair of roads and construction of community centres and other infrastructure projects and those have not been considered. They insist on giving money for cheaper projects such as open gyms and benches in parks for which we have the requisite funds,” Arya said.