BJP Gulps down lemonade worth Rs. 3.2 Lakh; Corporation foots bill of Rs. 88 L for party function

Now public money from Surat Municipal Corporation’s ante will be used for BJP party campaign activities. A resolution has been adopted by the standing committee of SMC to foot the bill of Rs. 88 lakh for a 12 days Tapi cleanliness drive, a only show off drive launched by Surat BJP recently in the city

BJP Gulps down lemonade worth Rs. 3.2 Lakh; Corporation foots bill of Rs. 88 L for party function

Now public money from Surat Municipal Corporation's ante will be used for BJP party campaign activities. A resolution has been adopted by the standing committee of SMC to foot the bill of Rs. 88 lakh for a 12 days Tapi cleanliness drive, a only show off drive launched by Surat BJP recently in the city.

While nothing has been achieved from the drive as the Tapi river looks and same it was just an eye wash of the Bhartiya Janata Party spending lakhs of hard earned tax payers money which will now go down the gutters and then into the Tapi river.

Insiders claim that as there is no opposition in the standing council in SMC all decisions are taken unanimously even at the cost of the people living in Surat. The standing committee unanimously decided to fund the BJP party campaign of clean Tapi, through the SMC which is already under cash crunch.

An information sought under Right to Information (RTI) by civil rights cruisader Sanjay Ezhawa, has revealed that the SMC will have to bear Rs 88 lakh for the party's campaign. As per the resolution SMC had agreed to provide free-of-cost machinery including earth movers, tractors and dumpers for the removal of water hyacinth from Tapi to the BJP.

During the 12 days, BJP spent Rs 3.19 lakh on the water bottles and lemon water. The 12 agencies have submitted bills of Rs 88 lakh for various machineries and 1,605 vehicles for collecting the river but SMC is yet to disburse the amount. About 2,471 safai workers and civic officers were allotted for the Tapi cleanliness campaign.

The civic body had sought financial aid from about 18 industrial houses in Hazira, who had promised Rs 93 lakh as donation for the campaign. The vehicles were procured on rent from the 12 private agencies. As per the information, SMC has received only Rs 36 lakh donations from five industrial houses in Hazira till date and others are yet to disburse the funds even after more than two months of the event.

"We have nothing to do with Rs 88 lakh expense as the Hazira industries had promised donations SMC already had the machinery on rent before the campaign started and it is their responsibility to pay the private agencies. The city BJP has spent Rs 12 lakh and the money was used in diesel and wages of safai workers.", said BJP city president Nitin Bhajiyawala.

But one thing Nitin forgot to mention was how a party campaign can be funded by a government body and under what rules?

The activist Sanjay Ezhava says: "This is unacceptable. How can SMC pay for a private function of a political party? If this becomes a trend then every political party or individuals can get support from SMC for their programme. After all this is public money being spent without any consent of the hard earned tax payers".

Moreover, SMC too has to answer a few questions, as the payments has to be made through the SMC run by the government, was any tender called for the work? How was the work order given and to whom? Who got the benefits? Did SMC ever fund a party programme earlier? And why a party programme is being funded by SMC and under which rule, clause or Act of the Municipal Act? "This was a private event by the BJP and all expenses should be borne by the party.

But SMC will be spending the public money to pay the Rs 88 lakh to the private contractors. Had it been a Congress event, would SMC have provided us the machinery for Rs 88 lakh?. This is a bad precendent being set by SMC. ", says Congress Councillor Aslam Cyclewala.