BJP expels three councillors on allegations of corruption, extortion
- Gupta’s action comes months ahead of the municipal elections in the three municipal corporations. Councillors Sanjay Thakur (SDMC), Rajni Babloo Pandey (EDMC) and Pooja Madan (NDMC) were expelled.
Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Adesh Gupta on Sunday expelled three municipal councillors from the party for six years on allegations of corruption. Gupta warned that if any other lawmakers are found involved in financial irregularities they will not be spared.
Gupta’s action comes months ahead of the municipal elections in the three municipal corporations early next year. Gupta said that even officers of the civic bodies will not be spared if they are found involved in corruption. “Not just councilors but officers of the municipal corporations (MCDs) will also not be spared if they are found involved in corruption”, Gupta was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Saidulajab councillor Sanjay Thakur in South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), New Ashok Nagar councillor Rajni Babloo Pandey in East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and Mukherjee Nagar councillor Pooja Madan in North Delhi Municipal Corporation were removed from the BJP.
“You are informed that due to numerous complaints of corruption against you, you are removed from the primary membership of the party for six years. You were many times made aware of this and asked to mend your corrupt behaviour but to no avail. You are removed from the party for six years with immediate effect,” the expulsion letters sent to the councillors read.
Delhi’s three civic bodies are governed by the BJP while the government is led by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The AAP is the primary opposition party in these three MCDs. The AAP and Congress plan to use the corruption in these civic bodies in the upcoming civic body polls.
The BJP in the 2017 civic polls did not give nomination tickets to any of the councillors as they faced allegations of corruption. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal over the past years alleged that corruption and mismanagement in civic bodies by BJP councillors led to poor financial situation of the three municipalities.
Notably, AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj accused ousted BJP councillor Sanjay Thakur of having a nexus with local builders and extorted money from individuals in April this year. AAP leader Durgesh Pathak too complained in August that ousted councillor Rajni Babloo Pandey and her kin was involved in extorting money from people who were involved in illegal constructions in the area.
The party released an audio recording between a builder and the councillor's brother-in-law where a person said he gave money to civic officials and also to the councillor's brother-in-law but the construction was stalled, news agency PTI reported. HT could not verify the authenticity of the audio clip. Both the councillors in respective occasions called the allegations ‘baseless’.