Bengaluru: The monthly meeting of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Council on Tuesday witnessed a bedlam when Padmanabha Reddy (BJP), leader of opposition, objected to the formation of a high power committee by the state government.
Raising the issue as soon as the Council meeting began, Padmanabha Reddy described the state government constituting the high power committee as a setback for the sovereignty of BBMP Council. “It is a shame and embarrassment for the members of BBMP Council. As per the state government’s directive, the BBMP has to take permission from the high power committee to take up developmental works worth more than Rs 10 Crore. I demand the government to cancel the high power committee since it deprives the corporators of their decision-making power,’’ Padmanabha Reddy said.
He alleged that state government had constituted the high power committee keeping in mind the flyover projects at Shivananda Circle and the steel flyover between Basaveshwara Circle and Hebbal. He alleged the committee was constituted without the Cabinet’s consent. “The committee was constituted as per the direction of Minister for Bengaluru Development and Town Planning K J George. The objective of the formation of the committee was to grab the corporators’ powers,’’ he said.
JD(S) members have extended their support to BJP corporator’s demand for the cancellation of the high power committee stating that BBMP Council should have the privilege to spend funds for the developmental works in the city. “What is the use of BBMP if the high power committee decides which developmental work should be taken and what amount should be spent on them. It is injustice. I want the state government to cancel the high power committee,’’ said Bhadre Gowda B, Chairperson, Standing Committee on ward-level works.
Expressing a similar opinion, Imran Pasha (JDS), corporator from Chamarajpet ward, opined that state government was trying to grab the elected representatives’ powers by constituting the high power committee. “There is no need for the existence of the BBMP Council if the government wants to go ahead with the formation of high power committee,’’ Pasha said.
Intervening in the discussion, Mayor G Padmavathi said the state government has constituted the high power committee with the objective of completing the developmental works as per schedule by the end of December. “Minister for Bengaluru Development K J George is attending Assembly session at Belagavi. I want to take a delegation, consisting of all chairpersons of standing committees, leaders of opposition and former mayors to discuss the issue with the minister,’’ Padmavathi said.
At this juncture, BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad said the corporators had the power to spend funds allocated by the BBMP but the government had the right to decide on how to spend the funds allocated by it. However, BJP corporators objected to BBMP Commissioner and demanded Mayor Padmavathi to put the issue for voting but the Mayor adjourned the Council.