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MiC members charge Mayor with corruption

FOUR CONGRESS members of the Mayor-in-Council (MiC) of the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) walked out of the MiC meeting convened on Thursday evening to approve a proposal on appointment of technical officers on deputation - charging the Mayor Sunil Sood with corruption and unconstitutional conduction of meeting.

india Updated: Jan 19, 2007 14:15 IST

FOUR CONGRESS members of the Mayor-in-Council (MiC) of the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) walked out of the MiC meeting convened on Thursday evening to approve a proposal on appointment of technical officers on deputation - charging the Mayor Sunil Sood with corruption and unconstitutional conduction of meeting.

The members – known supporters of MLA Arif Aqueel –said the meeting was totally unconstitutional as it was convened merely as a formality after the proposal had already been forwarded to State Government. They have decided to lodge a complaint of the matter with the MiC secretary as well as the State Government.

The members are Amir Aqueel, Mohammad Sarwar, Shahid Ali and Munawwar. The Mayor, however, said the meeting was in total adherence to the municipal act and that there was no violation of rules.

Sood has also said members were acting in `vested interest’ and that if they had any objections to the functioning of the MiC, they should resign from the membership before hurling charges. Sood said the proposal has been forwarded to the State Government only after getting a majority basis.

The MiC meeting was convened on Thursday evening to seek approval of members on the proposal of seeking appointments of technical officers to the BMC on deputation. Recently, the State Government had withdrawn its officers on deputation at various municipal corporations, but later rules were amended to allow deputations.

Deputations of technical officers are important, as the major municipal corporations including the BMC have been granted big urban development projects that would need services of additional competent technical officers. A proposal to this effect was drawn out and was placed for the MiC’s approval.

However, the four members objected to the fact that the proposal was allegedly forwarded to the State Government even before the meeting began and MiC members were merely asked to sign it.

They charged the Mayor of being involved in corruption in this matter leading to heated exchanges. Some other members also joined in the argument and when the Mayor refused to budge from his stand, the four members staged a walkout from the meeting, without signing the approval.

Later, talking to Hindustan Times, Mohammad Sarwar charged the Mayor of corruption and said often the agenda of the meetings were not provided to members and meetings were conducted just as a formality. Amir Aqueel also said the meeting was unconstitutional as no rules were followed and members were merely asked for their signatures.

Replying to allegations while talking to Hindustan Times, the Mayor said the members seemed to have some vested interest in the matter and were creating trouble, as their interests were not being served. He said the constitution of MiC is his privilege and he can change the members at any given time. However, if the members differed on some issues, they should resign from the MiC, he said.