Published On : Thu, Jan 12th, 2017

NMC Polls : It’s not going to bed of roses for BJP this time!


Nagpur: As the dates for NMC polls are out, the ruling BJP is pinning hopes to get lucky one more time. However analysts feel the path is not going to be smoother this time. The BJP is likely to face a slight setback from the frauds in Starbus, 24X7 water supply, and garbage collection projects in the upcoming municipal elections.

The opposition parties — Congress, BSP and NCP — have failed to make the irregularities, excluding Starbus and water, a major public issue in the last five years despite many violations coming to fore.

Social activist Dinesh Naidu said the BJP will face some flak due to irregularities in NMC. “NMC’s finances were very bad in last five years. Still, we witnessed irregularities in Starbus, 24X7 water supply, street lights projects etc. BJP is basically a party favouring companies.”

“It did nothing in last five years, and just executed cement concrete road works on large scale in last two months. The BJP decision to start 4-member wards is a sign of its fear. However, people rarely vote based on irregularities, so the BJP has an advantage in the city. Opposition parties, especially Congress, are to be blamed. They leaders exposed some scams but never followed up on them. Hence, citizens should vote looking at the candidates and their own manifestos,” he said.

Naidu added that the city lost its glory under BJP’s rule of 10 years. “City was known for wide and green roads. Also, city was recognized as emerging city. But now, NMC cannot even afford salary for its employees,” he said.
Denying a single irregularity, ruling party leader Dayashankar Tiwari said Starbus etc were just lapses on the part of administration and nothing to do with ruling alliance. “If Starbus scam is an issue, then Congress should seek action against its leader Naresh Gawande, who was mayor when Starbus came. BJP realized the lacunas and appointed retired judge for inquiry. Now, BJP has introduced new city bus service. City has started to develop in last 10 years and is emerging as the best in the nation,” he said.

Tiwari added the BJP is proud of its performance in NMC, since it succeeded in providing water to all households. “Opposition parties are only engaged in protests, and are not for public and city’s welfare,” he said.

Leader of opposition Vikas Thakre said citizens will teach BJP a lesson just like the 2002 elections. “Around 100 corporators, most of them from BJP, were booked in sports materials scam. Citizens threw BJP out of NMC. I exposed over 15 scams in NMC in last five years. Hapless citizens have been left with high water bills and property tax. The NMC’s condition has only worsened. I also exposed the voters scam,” he said.

BSP leader Sanjay Jaiswal said citizens have lost patience after a slew of irregularities at NMC, which will impact BJP. “The minority and Ambedkarites will not vote for BJP. Even slum-dwellers are getting water bills of Rs1,000 due to irregularities in 24X7 water supply project. Construction of cement roads cannot save BJP,” he said.