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Rs.12 crore mayor election in the city where 76% live in slums
One wonders, central government is so busy in bringing back the 'black money' assumingly stacked in Swiss banks. Can't it see the huge unaccounted sum changing hands right under its nose?
Tuesday December 9, 2014 7:05 PM, Staff Reporter

The Malegon Municipal Corporation (MMC) on Wednesday will elect a new mayor for the next two and half years. The election is likely to see a close contest between Bulund Iqbal of Janata Dal (Secular) and Ibrahim Seth of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Malegaon Municipal Corporation

Both the contestants exude confidence that they have the needed number with them and they will emerge victorious in the election to gain the control of the 80-member corporation with a budget of over 350 crore rupees.

Bulund Iqbal of Janata Dal (Secular), besides three corporators of his party, is backed by 24 corporators of the Indian National Congress (INC). Also supporting him is the splinter group comprising 10 corporators of Teesra Mahaz and Malegaon Vikas Aghadi of Sunil Gaekwad. Gaekwad has been offered the post of Deputy Mayor in return of the support. Bulund Iqbal also claims to have received 'commitments' from independents and few others of the rival camp.

On the other hand, Ibrahim Seth of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), besides other corporators of his party, is supported by 12 corporators of Shiv Sena, 11-member Malegaon Shaher Vikas Aghadi of Yunus Isa, remaining 09 corporators of the Teesra Mahaz and 'few others' who are sitting on the fence. Yunus is the Deputy Mayor candidate of the Ibrahim Seth group.

But, the story does not end here.

Hectic lobbying for the Malegaon mayor elections started during the recently concluded state elections, and came to full focus as soon as they were over. Simultaneously, began departure of corporators to far-away places.

Sources with both the camps reveal that the corporators supporting Bulund Iqbal are on 'tour' in Ajmer and the neighbouring places whereas those with Ibrahim Seth are away in Hyderabad.

It is also learnt that every corporator has been paid a minimum of 15 lakh rupees each besides commitment of other 'perks' that will be paid in the next two-and-half years in the form of contracts and commissions.

In addition to this amount are the daily expenses incurring to provide lavish food and luxury accommodation, and also the cash paid to fulfil 'other' demands of the 80 corporators who are out on 'tour' since more than a month now. Extra amount is also spent as 40 corporators are women and they are with their husbands. To oblige them is also the responsibility of the mayor aspirants.

Summing up, the total money being spent on Wednesday's mayor election is going above a whopping Rs.12 crores making it the most expensive election in the history of Malegaon Municipal Corporation.

This is in the city where, according to a study by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), more than 76% of the people are living in slums and dilapidated housings under inhuman condition without sufficient drinking water, proper roads and other essential amenities. In the city, where schools are without toilets and where healthy atmosphere is a dream.

And, when such a huge money is spent on just one election, people should be ready for more problems by the time the newly elected mayor, instead of resolving the above listed issues, 'recovers' with 'interest' the money he has spent.

One wonders, the central government is so busy in bringing back the 'black money' assumingly stacked in Swiss banks. Can't it see the huge unaccounted sum changing hands right under its nose?

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