Monday, January 31, 2005

Janaagraha comes under fire

Janaagraha comes under fire

The Hindu

BANGALORE, JAN. 29. The Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Council on Saturday came down on the private urban initiatives — Janaagraha and PROOF (Public Record of Operations and Finances) — for "interfering in the civic body's functioning."

At the BMP Council meeting here, members cutting across party lines, criticised the organisation and accused it of "running a parallel government."

Raising the issue, the former Mayor, K. Chandrashekar, who is also the Basavanagudi MLA, wondered how the BMP Commissioner could allow the private voluntary organisation to "interfere in the BMP's functioning."

Asking the commissioner, K. Jothiramalingam, whether he is involved in corruption as indicated by Janaagraha in its reports, the former Mayor alleged that the organisation is conducting a signature campaign against the BMP's taxation system. Other members joined Mr. Chandrashekar, and asked the commissioner whether the organisation has been permitted to survey two wards to find out tax evaders there.

The commissioner replied that the organisation has submitted a proposal to conduct a survey. "We forwarded it to the Standing Committee on Taxation and Finance. Meanwhile, we told the NGO that they can survey wards of our choice along with our officials and not alone. But the organisation wanted to take up wards that are not chosen by us. When we refused, they went back on their word," he said.


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