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Opposition slams Shiv Sena corporator’s plan to distribute laptops to students

By Mehul Thakkar, Mumbai
UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2019 12:16 AM IST

Yashwant Jadhav, Shiv Sena corporator and chairman of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) standing committee, kicked up a row on Friday with his proposal to distribute tablets and laptops to needy students from his ward instead of sewing and grinding machines for women.

The BMC, in its 2019-20 budget, had allocated 1 crore to buy and distribute sewing and stone grinding machines for women in Jadhav’s E ward (comprising areas of Byculla) to promote entrepreneurship. Jadhav requested to transfer this allocation to instead buy and distribute laptops and tablets for needy students.

The Opposition said there was no policy to distribute laptops and accused Jadhav of transferring funds selectively just two months before the state Assembly polls to influence voters.

Jadhav, while refuting allegations, said, “I have already distributed stone grinding machines and sewing machines. The proposal of laptops and tablets is a legal proposal, and any corporator can do that. Corporators from their funds can also buy such products and distribute them. ”

At BMC’s standing committee meeting on Friday, corporators said Jadhav’s proposal sets a bad precedent.

“How can we transfer funds selectively for one corporator? If such a decision is being taken, it should be allowed for all corporators. Also, there is no such policy of the BMC on distributing laptops and tablets,” said Ravi Raja, Congress corporator and leader of Opposition in the BMC.

Rais Shaikh, Samajwadi Party corporator and group leader in BMC’s standing committee, said, “There is no policy or definition as to who are these needy students to whom the laptops and tablets are going to be distributed. It is a good thing that the students will get laptops and tablets but there is no policy on its distribution, and if it is being allowed for one, it should be allowed for all corporators.”

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