Former mayor Jyoti Khandelwal on Sunday accused the Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC) of using public fund for sponsoring a private event at the house of a Bharatiya Janata Party parliamentarian recently.
Armed with a copy of an official order issued from JMC additional commissioner Rakesh Sharma’s office on June 24, the Congress leader claimed that the ‘bhajan’ evening organised at Jaipur MP Ramcharan Bohra’s residence on June 30 — a day before the parliamentarian’s birthday — was sponsored by the civic body. The JMC additional commissioner, however, claimed ignorance and tried to pass the buck in the matter.
The state Congress general secretary told reporters on Sunday that the JMC order clearly stated that a raen basera (shelter home) and a mahaaarti committee constituted by the Nagar Paryatan Vikas, Sanskritik Utsav and Jan Kalyan Committee of the municipal corporation, would sponsor a ‘Shyam Baba Bhajan and Mahaaarti’ programme at 4th Avenue, Lal Bhadur Shastri Marg, Durgapura — Bohra’s residence — for a good rainfall.
Khandelwal said the JMC had asked all area officials to make required arrangements and be present on the occasion. She said the “arrangements” referred to in the JMC order included special sanitation and rangoli in nearby areas, prasad distribution, providing generator, power and deployment of guard. It also mentioned that flowers (including rose petals and garlands), mattresses, bed sheets, mikes, tent and DJ sound, besides extending invitation to councillors and other elected representatives through text messages and ensuring proper publicity of the event, its photography and videography.
“(The) JMC has become a hub of corruption. The hard earned money of the public is shamefully being spent on pleasing the political patrons,” she alleged.
The state Congress general secretary claimed that a copy of the June 24 order was sent to the mayor, the commissioner and other officials, but no action had been initiated so far. Khandelwal threatened that if no action was taken in the matter within seven days, then the Congress would lodge a case against the mayor, JMC commissioner and others responsible with the anti-corruption bureau (ACB).
JMC additional commissioner tries to pass the buck
JMC additional commissioner Rakesh Sharma told reporters that he was not aware of the details of the programme. “A note sheet was received from Sanskritik Utsav and Jan Kalyan Committee to organise a bhajan evening for good rains. Committee head Kusum Yadav should be asked about it,” he said.
Meanwhile, cultural committee chairperson Kusum Yadav said: “The bhajan event for good rains was proposed by the shelter home and mahaaarti committee. Two days before the bhajan evening, we got to know that it is a personal event…(after which) we cancelled majority of arrangements and only provided mattresses and bed sheets, which approximately cost `3,000-4,000. Even Bohra asked not make any arrangements.”
Bohra too denied that the arrangements were made by the JMC. “If any such thing has happened then it is wrong. Whatever money has been spent will be paid to the tent house.”