A no-holds barred contest is being witnessed in Mumbai-North constituency, with the BJP's Gopal Shetty making a determined bid to unseat sitting Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam. But, Nirupam is also leaving no stone unturned to retain this seat. The result: a bitter war of words.
On Friday, Nirupam gave a point-to-point refutation to Shetty's 11-point 'charge sheet'.
"I do not need a certificate from the BJP about my effectiveness in Parliament." He said his attendance in the Lok Sabha was 89 per cent (against national average of 76), number of debates taken part is 57 (37.90) and number of questions asked was 334 (300). The MP also claimed to have asked several supplementary questions and raised issues during zero hour.
Failure to utilize MPLAD fund:
Nirupam said this is a false allegation, which has been proved by the fund utilisation certificate issued by the collector for five years.
Development of suburban railways neglected
"A large number of additional trains, stops, holiday and festival special trains have been introduced due to my efforts. Even the Rajdhani Express will now halt at Borivali on trial basis for 6 months. Borivali station was re-developed as model station and redevelopment of Malad, Kandivali and Dahisar stations is in the pipeline." Nirupam said he pursued with the authorities for construction of women's toilets at railways stations in the city and ensured funds were released for survey work for routing Konkan railway trains through Borivali. "My efforts also saw three FOBs at Borivali, Kandivali and Poinsur."
Deception of Metro-2
"The work of Metro-2 was awarded to R-Infra Company whose close proximity with BJPs Prime Ministerial candidate is public knowledge. Your PM candidate and patron of Reliance must be asked to explain the failure of Reliance to execute this project and not me." Nirupam said he demanded scrapping of the contract and re-designing of the project to cover all the western suburbs and avoid displacement of slum dwellers. "The Government has accepted my proposal and has appointed RITES to conduct a survey based on which the fresh tenders would be invited to complete the project," Nirupam has stated.
Neglecting the fishermen
Nirupam said his efforts had resulted in construction of jetties, platforms for drying fish, sheds for storage and stitching of nets. He said he had taken a delegation of fishermen to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Following this, bulk sale of diesel to fishermen was exempted from sale tax, he claimed.
False claims of Deemed Conveyance
Nirupam said he was in the forefront of the campaign to have deemed conveyance of land to cooperative housing societies. He said hundreds of housing societies encouraged to submit their applications and a fast track system was also evolved.
Superficial protest against electricity rates hike
Nirupam claimed that because of his agitation electricity charges will be reduced effective April, 2014 for all categories of consumers.
Misconduct towards women
"Smriti Irani and myself have both filed defamation cases against each other which are pending before courts for final disposal. As the matter is sub judice I cannot make any statement," the Congress M.P. has stated.
Charge No. 9: Bigg Boss debacle
"I was not a member of Parliament when I was in Bigg Boss for a week. Yes, I did help Ms. Monica Bedi to get a rental house (and not a government house as mischievously alleged) in Goregaon and have been helping several people in distress without being judgmental about their character. God forbid, someday if you are in distress I would definitely help you," Nirupam has informed Shetty.
Lavish birthday party
"I am sorry if you felt bad that I did not invite you for lunch on the occasion of my birthday as it was only for my party workers," Nirupam has told Shetty tongue in cheek.
Violation of poll code
Nirupam said Ramesh Singh Thakur, MLA had invited him for the bhoomi pujan of a project in which a BJP corporator interfered. There was no violation of the code.