The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation’s (GHMC) move to gift seventeen of its outgoing members including the Mayor and Deputy Mayor a brand new Apple iPhone 12 pro max of 512 GB has been called out by the opposition. The GHMC’s exorbitant ‘gift’ to these members (from the TRS and AIMIM), whose term ends in February 2021, was approved on Thursday by the standing committee, which is the highest authority in the civic body.
The standing committee meeting was chaired by Mayor Bonthu Ram Mohan. This item was placed in the agenda as an extra item and was given approval by the committee. The ‘gifts’ will cost the exchequer Rs 27,23,740, with each iPhone (Max pro) costing about Rs 1.6 lakh and comes at a time when the civic body is facing a fund crunch.
The move was severely criticised by the opposition with BJP spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao accusing the TRS party of a brazen abuse of power. “BJP feels this move is atrocious, irresponsible and a brazen abuse of power by GHMC Mayor and Deputy Mayor in passing a resolution in the standing committee of GHMC to gift the 17 corporators, who are outgoing, who lost their election. Each iPhone costs around Rs 1.6 lakh, which is a total of about Rs 30 lakh. Just imagine the degree of irresponsibility and the misuse of public money by the TRS corporators,” hit out Krishna Saagar Rao.
He further added, “When GHMC is reeling under financial stress and when they are unable to pay their own employees salaries. It's a shame that you are spending public money like water.”
BJP has demanded that GHMC roll back its decision immediately. Krishna Saagar Rao added that after BJP comes to power in February, they would stop such kind of unilateral decisions by the TRS corporators.
Municipal elections were held for GHMC on December 1. The TRS, which had swept the polls in 2015, managed to win only 56 seats this time around, just short of the required numbers to get the Mayor and Deputy Mayor post on its own. The BJP gained major ground in Hyderabad, going from 4 to 48 seats, while the AIMIM won 44, Congress got only 2 seats.