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Delhi mayor being ‘remote-controlled’ by AAP leaders for civic governance, alleges BJP

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NEW DELHI, March 4 (PTI): The BJP on Saturday alleged that Delhi mayor Shelly Oberoi sits like a “dummy” in municipal meetings and, instead of exercising her own wisdom for civic governance, is being “remote-controlled” by senior AAP leaders for decision-making.

Senior BJP leader and former South Delhi mayor Kamaljeet Sehrawat made the accusations during a press conference at the saffron party’s Delhi unit headquarters.

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There was no immediate reaction from Oberoi or the AAP.

Oberoi either “remains mute” or reacts with a sense of delay, as if she has received “some instructions” from AAP leaders like Atishi, who is mostly “remotely feeding information” to her over mobile, Sehrawat alleged.

In meetings, it is expected that a mayor will exercise his or her own wisdom and work with all the councillors and other leaders for the city’s collective good, she said.

“But, in the meetings with department heads and others that she attends, AAP leaders Atishi and Saurabh Bhardwaj accompany her. And she sits there like a ‘gungi gudiya (dummy)’ and doesn’t engage in discussions while these two AAP leaders make decisions,” the BJP leader claimed.

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Sehrawat said the AAP dispensation should “allow” the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to run as per its autonomy and not try to “remote-control” civic governance.

She also alleged that the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi is trying to “hand over 1,400 kilometres of Public Works department roads to a private concessionaire” through a Cabinet note and that the AAP dispensation is also trying to “wreck” the national capital’s sanitation system.

“And, if Mayor Shelly Oberoi sides with the AAP government on these issues and allows herself to be remote-controlled by it, then the BJP, as a strong opposition, will protest vehemently,” Sehrawat said.

Repairing broken pavements, central verges and manholes, resurfacing roads and sprinkling water on them daily — these are some initiatives that will be undertaken as part of the Delhi government’s mega project to transform the city roads that will kick off from April 1.

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The chief minister, in late January, had said that they would transform 1,400 kilometres of roads that come under the jurisdiction of Delhi’s Public Works department.

During Saturday’s press conference, former East Delhi mayor Harsh Malhotra also levelled allegations against the AAP dispensation of trying to “ruin the autonomy” of the MCD.

Two news clips were played during the briefing — one related to landfill sites and the other on the meeting chaired by the mayor.

Malhotra claimed that the Centre has been planning to flatten the three landfill dumps in Delhi and working continuously towards it, along with municipal authorities.

But Kejriwal is trying to claim otherwise.

Kejriwal on Friday visited the Okhla landfill site and said the target is to remove all three mountains of garbage by December 2024.

Oberoi, who was elected to the post of Delhi mayor on February 22, accompanied the chief minister to the landfill site.

She also instructed officials to undertake special drives to repair civic-run hospitals, officials said.

According to a statement issued from Oberoi’s office, she also chaired a meeting with senior officers of the engineering and the IT departments on Friday and took stock of various ongoing and completed projects across various domains.

The mayor said it is important for the civic agency to work together to address the issues facing the city in a timely and efficient manner.

On Thursday, Oberoi chaired a review meeting with the deputy commissioners of all the 12 zones of the MCD.

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The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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