The opposition said they won’t allow mayor Sovan Chatterjee to present the Budget as he was seen accepting cash in the Narada video.
Kolkata: There was a total pandemonium inside the House at the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) with the Opposition demanding the resignation of mayor Sovan Chatterjee in the Narada issue.
As soon as the mayor stood up to present the Budget statement on Saturday, the opposition raised furore that they will not accept the it from somebody who has been seen accepting wads of notes in the Narada video footage. Mr Chatterjee, however, presented the civic body Budget amidst slogans of his resignation and presented a deficit budget of Rs 15,938 lakh.
The Calcutta high court on Thursday, while ordering a CBI probe into the Narada sting video, had declared the footage as “authentic”. CPI(M) councillor Ratna Roy Majumder said, “The mayor has been seen in the footage accepting money. The deputy mayor, too, has been observed taking money in the footage. Mayors like Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, Satyendranath Banerjee had presented Budgets from this august House. The ‘corrupt’ mayor is tarnishing the image of this House. We want his resignation.”
She also said that it is exemplary in the history of the civic body that somebody who is neck-dipped in corruption is presenting the Budget.
Congress councillor Prakash Upadhyay also demanded that Mr Chatterjee has no legal right to sit on the mayor’s chair. The confusion in the House increased and some ruling party councillors were seen having angry exchange of words with the Opposition members. They were seen jostling with one another, which made the mayor’s Budget speech almost inaudible.
Later, Mr Chatterjee told reporters that the party has already decided to go to challenge the verdict. “The Narada video was shown before the Assembly elections but people elected us in spite of that. The allegations have not been proved as yet. So why the Opposition is posing a barrier to the development of the city?” he said.
As per the Budget statement presented in the civic body, the total receipt of revenue fund as per the Budget estimate of 2017-18 is Rs 3,23,0950 lakh, while the total expenditure is Rs 3,38,988lakh. “We will introduce unit area assessment from the next financial year, following which tax payers will be able to self assess their properties,” Mr Chatterjee said.