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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Old Delhi’s UPA Muslim MLAs spent least on development

Rs 437.74 cr remains unspent from Yousuf's fund. Iqbal is yet to spend Rs 444.88 cr from his fund
RTI reply shows that Haroon Yousuf and Shoaib Iqbal are the most frugal of Delhi MLAs when it comes to developing their constituencies.
Muslim MLAs from the walled city, Haroon Yousuf, also a minister in the Sheila Dikshit Cabinet, and Shoaib Iqbal have spent the least from their area development funds in their under-developed constituencies. Yousuf and Iqbal represent Ballimaran and Matia Mahal seats. An RTI reply lists the expenditures incurred by all of Delhi's 70 MLAs, showing that except Yousuf and Iqbal, all the others spent most of their fund allocations by the end of September. An MLA is given Rs 4 cr per year to spend for his constituency's development. Rs 1 cr of this amount is mandatorily spent on Delhi Jal Board projects. Interestingly, both Yousuf and Shoaib have been the least spenders for the past three years. Despite strong protests by Old Delhi locals, they haven't planned any fresh development projects in their areas. Rs 437.74 cr remains unspent from Yousuf's fund. Iqbal is yet to spend Rs 444.88 cr from his fund. When asked why they have been so frugal, both Yousuf and Iqbal said that they were holding back to their money to spend it in the next session. But they didn't respond to the question what if they din't win the election this time and the money was returned to the state treasury. Meanwhile, residents in Ballimaran and Matia Mahal say that since both these candidates are unchallenged and will win for certain, they are either ignoring or delaying the development work in their areas. "Iqbal has unparalleled clout in the area. He does not have a competitor. He will continue to represent the area in the next Assembly session also. This confidence has turned him complacent about development. He is more concerned with popular causes like mosque construction and other sentimental Muslim issues. It reaps him political dividends. Plus, he also does some genuine charity works by helping the poor of the area," said Gulfam Qureshi, a small time political leader in Jama Masjid area. "Locals are angry with Yousuf as there is hardly any visible development in the area except a few renovated streets and improved sewer lines. But they don't see any suitable challenger to him," said Sheeba Aslam Fehmi, a Ballimaran-based Urdu journalist.
News Credits Sunday Gaurdian

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