Ashu, Ludhiana mayor hand in glove with advertisement mafia: SAD
Accusing cabinet minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu and mayor Balkar Sandhu of being hand in glove with advertisement ‘mafia’, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) led by former cabinet minister and SAD-BSP candidate from Ludhiana west, Maheshinder Singh Grewal criticised the Congress leaders for causing a revenue loss of crores to the state exchequer/municipal corporation (MC) by benefitting the outdoor advertisement contractor in the city.
Addressing a press conference at his residence in Model Town area on Wednesday, Grewal claimed that the advertisement contractor had been given an annual relief of ₹9 crore in the advertisement contract for seven years citing the pandemic. As per the original contract, the contractor had to pay ₹23 crores as annual fee, but the fee has now been reduced to around 14 crores. Further, he alleged that the government was paying ₹32,000 per month for every board installed in the city to the contractor for government advertisements. However, the contractor was only paying ₹16,000 for every board to the MC. The MC is also not auctioning the vacant advertisement media/furniture in the city to benefit the contractor.
Accusing minister Ashu’s wife, councillor Mamta Ashu of allegedly exercising extra-constitutional powers in the MC, Grewal also accused the MC of adopting a pick-and-choose policy while removing illegal hoardings from the city. Grewal statd that Ludhiana MC has turned into ‘Corporation of scams’ under the congress rule.
However, refuting the allegations, the mayor said the relief had been provided by the state government. “Many other sectors have also been provided relief due to the pandemic and the MC has no role in the same,” he said.
The state government had directly approached the contractor for government advertisement and the MC recovers the amount from the contract as per the contract, he added.
The minister could not be reached for comments despite repeated attempts.
Grewal making derogatory remarks: Councillor
Posting a video on social media, councillor Mamta Ashu accused Grewal of making derogatory remarks against her during the press conference. She said,” During the conference, Grewal said that one Mamta Ashu, who claims to be the wife of minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu.” Does this show the mentality of Grewal towards the opposite gender, questioned Mamta.
Speaking on the allegations of issuing orders to MC officials, Mamta said she did not issue any orders, rather appealed to the MC and Congress supporters to remove illegal hoardings.