Cong reminds of 'scams' in Harsh Vardhan's time

Recalls dropsy epidemic, no new hospital built in city

Training its guns on BJP’s Delhi chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan, the Congress on Thursday tried to dig out old “scams” and dissect his tenure as the city's health minister between 1993 and 98.

The Congress blamed Harsh Vardhan for the outbreak of epidemic dropsy – a disease which causes swelling in feet due to consumption of mustard oil adulterated with Mexican prickly poppy oil – and claimed that not a single new government hospital was built during his tenure.

Harsh Vardhan had on Thursday said people of Delhi were living in ‘Intensive Care Unit’ for the past 15 years – an indirect reference to the alleged misrule under the Congress government.

Reacting to his remark, Mukesh Sharma, Uttam Nagar MLA and parliamentary secretary to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, said the BJP itself was in the ICU for 15 years.

“The BJP should apologise for what they said as it is their party itself that has been in ICU for the last one-and-a-half decade,” said Sharma. “They will be put on ventilator this time,” he said.

Sharma raised a series of questions related to the alleged scams during the BJP’s rule between 1993 and 98.

He pointed out that Harsh Vardhan, who was the then health minister, did not open a single hospital in Delhi. “The power situation in Delhi was so bad that power rioting cases were filed against people who agitated against power cuts,” he said.
Talking about the issue of corruption in municipal corporations, Congress spokesperson Jitender Kochar said the BJP, that is in power in two municipal corporations, has done little to combat dengue.

“People have died of dengue this year. Who is responsible for it?” asked Kochar.
“The BJP is ruling the corporations for the past 10 years, why hasn’t it ensured corruption-free working there. People have to pay bribes to officers, be it sanction of building plan or issue of death certificate,” he said.

AAP’s plea on  posters

The city government and police were on Friday directed by the Delhi High Court to respond to Aam Aadmi Party’s plea challenging the move of removing its posters from houses of people willing to put them up on their property, reports PTI.

A bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Manmohan issued notices to Delhi government, Delhi Police and also the EC sought their replies within two weeks on AAP’s plea to restrain police and MCD from removing posters from houses in the garb of the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Propert Act. Appearing for AAP and two residents, counsel Prashant Bhushan submitted that this move is “denial of the right to freedom of speech and the restriction should be set aside immediately as the campaigning period is going on.”

The plea alleged that the removal is a violation of freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution.

Poll fight spills to pensions

City BJP President Vijay Goel on Friday slammed the Sheila Dikshit government and the three municipal commissioners for not disbursing monthly pension to senior citizens, widows and differently abled people for the period from April to July.

Goel said disbursement has been deliberately stopped by the municipal commissioners on directions from the Delhi government, which is their appointing authority.

“The three municipal commissioners are acting at the behest of the Congress government to tarnish the image of the corporations ruled by BJP and to hurt our poll prospects in the coming Assembly elections,” said Goel.

“I have asked all the three mayors to seek an explanation from the respective municipal commissioners regarding the blockade of disbursement of pension,” he added, reports DHNS.

Goel said that two lakh people have been affected due to the political ploy of the municipal commissioners in the garb of model code of conduct.

“This is being done to make people feel that the BJP-ruled corporations are anti-people,” he said.

He said pension to the tune of Rs 77 crore has been approved by the corporation for disbursement across the city, but municipal commissioners are sitting on the amount.

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