February 13, 2017 3:03:42 am
URGING the urban youth to vote for better governance, former Union minister P Chidambaram Sunday spoke to a group of youngsters in Bandra asking them to cast their votes in the civic elections for a change of guard in the Mumbai municipality. “The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has not been audited for the last 7 years…from the entire BMC we don’t know where Rs 1,200 crores have been spent. This amount is a huge hole,” said the senior Congress leader. Emphasising that Mumbai requires technology to deal with its numerous issues, Chidambaram said Mumbai still suffered from problems usually faced by a small town. “No road here in Mumbai is of world class, actually it is not even first class,” he said.
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Chidambaram was speaking at an interactive session at Bandra Fort. As part of the Congress’s election campaigning, he first visited Lokhandwala in the western suburbs to interact with local residents before meeting Dharavi’s residents of Tamil origin and then headed to Bandra. Answering a question on the role of corporate governance in Mumbai, Chidambaram welcomed the idea. “…the problem lies in implementation and we should give the corporates the job and hold them responsible for not finishing it. When it comes to implementation, the government is notoriously incompetent,” he said.
Earlier, in Lokhandwala, members of around 20 residents’ associations attended an interactive session with the former Union finance minister where they discussed the impact of demonetisation and the Union Budget on the economy. Chidambaram pointed out that the BJP-led government’s decision had caused a drop in the gross domestic product (GDP) by 1 per cent and he predicted that the figure would drop further next year. He said demonetisation had not reduced corruption but had instead added to it and the move led to over 40 lakh people being rendered jobless.
Residents who attended the event said it was an informative discussion, though many remain undecided about their choice in the elections. Tarapore Garden Residents’ Association secretary Yatindra Pal said, “All the decisions the government makes is at the central level, and they are now blaming the Shiv Sena for corruption in the civic body when they were in alliance with them for the entire duration.”
Pal said other available options didn’t strike out as worthy either, leaving the average voter confused. “People have no confidence in the Congress, and Shiv Sena is suffering from anti-incumbency even though their party workers are strong on the ground. We just hope that whichever party wins does things differently,” he said.
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