Mumbai: The opposition parties, including Shiv Sena (UBT) and the Congress, have alleged that BMC chief Iqbal Singh Chahal and suburban guardian minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha are generously allotting development funds to MLAs siding with the ruling coalition while the duo is stifling flow of money to other legislators. They accused that even some of the ex-corporators have received funds from the civic body, but they are yet to get a single penny.
The five-year tenure of elected BMC corporators ended on March 07, 2022, after which Chahal became the sole authority responsible for running the civic body's daily affairs. On January 31 this year, he issued a letter to all the 36 MLAs, saying that they should submit proposals seeking development funds to the guardian ministers. The requests will be taken up on the basis of priority, Chahal underlined. Subsequently, letters were sent, but no money was allocated, averred the Sena (UBT) and Congress MLAs.
15 BJP MLAs received funds from BMC: Vaikar
Sena (UBT) MLA from Jogeshwari Ravindra Vaikar said, “So far, 15 BJP MLAs have received funds from the BMC. The civic body has made a provision of Rs1,260 crore for the development fund and disbursed Rs340 crore till today. However, I have not received a single penny from the BMC.” Even ex-corporators of the BJP and Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde) received Rs5 crore fund each. In total, Rs120 crore has been given to them in this fiscal, which is illegal because they are no more corporators, he added.
Vaikar asserted that they have just not been deprived of development funds but the corpus sanctioned by the District Planning Development Committee, which requires the collector's nod, hasn't reached them. He said, “The administrator and guardian ministers are violating the BMC Act and distributing funds to (select) MLAs. How will we work in our constituency?”
Ex-Sena (UBT) corporator Rajul Patel said, “The state government is misusing their powers. I have not received any funds, but the BJP and Shinde group corporators have got the money. I have sought information through a Right to Information query, but the BMC hasn't replied yet.”
Former opposition leader in BMC Ravi Raja said, “So far, the BMC has distributed around Rs480 crore to the MLAs and corporators of the Shiv Sena (Shinde group) and the BJP. There is no provision in the BMC Act to distribute funds to the MLAs. I will challenge this practice of administrator and guardian ministers in the high court,” Raja vowed.
HL : Funds received by MLAs
Mangesh Kudalkar (Shiv Sena)
Ram Kadam, Vidya Thakur (BJP)
Rs28 cr each
Prakash Surve (Shiv Sena)
Ashish Shelar, Mangal Prabhat Lodha (BJP)
Rs24 cr each
Mihir Kotecha, Atul Bhatkhalkar (BJP)
Rs20 cr each