Ghaziabad: Spat between Khoda chairperson, official affects development works
The chairperson has refuted the allegations and said she could only sign files after ascertaining the details and progress of various development work
The developmental works in Khoda have been hit as the executive officer (EO) and the newly-elected chairperson are engaged in war of words over the alleged interference of the chairperson’s husband in official matter, officials in the know of the matter said.
The standoff has escalated to such an extent that the chairperson is allegedly refusing to sign files, while the EO shot off a complaint to the state government seeking its intervention.
In her letter sent on June 27, executive officer Shalini Gupta alleged that newly elected Khoda Nagar Palika chairperson Mohini Sharma is staying away from signing files related to development works in the Nagar Palika, while her husband, former MLA Amarpal Sharma, is interfering in working of the Nagar Palika.
The chairperson has refuted the allegations and said she could only sign files after ascertaining the details and progress of various development work. She said it was her mandate and duty to ensure that the “taxpayer’s money is accounted for”.
“I have sent the letter to the state government and my senior officials to make them aware of the issues here. The development works are hampered in Khoda as the chairperson has not signed any file since the past two weeks. I have also informed the state and senior officials that her husband is interfering in official matters of the nagar palika. According to rules, relatives or family members of an elected representative cannot represent or interfere in the workings of the local body,” Gupta said.
Her letter said payments related to petrol/diesel, repair of tankers, repair of cleaning equipment, purchase of cleaning equipment related to Swachh Bharat Mission and even transfer of funds (in bank) received from Fifteenth Finance Commission are pending for want of the chairperson’s signature.
Khoda was among three of four nagar palikas that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost in the local body elections on May 13. Chairperson Sharma, who contested as an independent, defeated BJP’s sitting chairperson Reena Bhati.
Her husband and former MLA Amarpal Sharma was named in the conspiracy case related to the killing of Bhati’s husband, Gajendra Bhati, who was shot dead in Khoda on September 2, 2017.
Sharma refuted the allegations and said she found several irregularities in Khoda.
“More than half the streetlights were not functioning when I conducted an inspection recently and people have raised many complaints. I have come to know that these lights have remained on the blink since months. Before signing files, I wish to know the number of payments made, the warranty periods, the work progress and whether the payments are made after proper on the ground inspections. I have every right to ascertain these details before signing off on payments,” Sharma said.
“Only after officials appraise me about these details will I sign the files. I do not wish to hamper any work but taxpayers’ money needs to be accounted for. I also want to know whether these works were assigned after issuing proper tenders,” she said.
Her husband Amarpal Sharma also responded to allegations of interference and said, “The EO is no judge whether I am a criminal person or not. My case is in court and the court will decide on thta. I have not interfered in the working of Khoda Nagar Palika. I go to Khoda to meet people as I have a long-standing relationship with them. I am not barred from going to Khoda.”