The possibility of fresh elections in the city has prompted legislators to exhaust their funds meant for development in their constituencies.
According to the urban development department, almost 75% of the MLAs have started work in their constituencies and a number of them have managed to exhaust their fund of Rs 4 crore in less than two months.
The MLA local area development is a planned scheme under the urban development department and each financial year the government allocates Rs 4 crore as funds under the scheme to each MLA. Each MLA is authorised to spend Rs 3 crore on various developmental work such as construction of walkways, streetlights, parks among others, while Rs 1 crore is earmarked to be spent on Delhi Jal Board (DJB)-related projects."This is not the first time that I have been elected. I knew the problems of my area and started work on it immediately. I’ve spent all my funds on developmental works. At the same time the possibility of fresh elections is very much there and if elections are announced the assembly will be dissolved and we will not be able to spend money on our constituency," said Mohammed Asif, Congress MLA from Okhla.
As the model code of conduct was in effect for the Lok Sabha elections, Delhi MLAs were not able to utilise their funds. However, with the election code being lifted on May 23, the urban development department started sanctioning projects under the MLA Local Area Development scheme. Cutting across party lines, a number of MLAs including BJP MLA Anil Jha from Kirari, Congress MLA Asif Mohammed from Okhla, BJP MLA Subhash Sachdeva from Moti Nagar, BJP MLA Mohan Singh Bisht from Karawal Nagar, LJP MLA Shoaib Iqbal from Matia Mahal, BJP MLA Rambir Singh Bidhuri from Badarpur have almost exhausted their funds.
“I’ve almost spent my entire MLA fund and only works related to Delhi Jal Board are left. We have made a number of promises to our voters and we have to deliver,” said Mahender Nagpal, BJP MLA from Wazirpur.