Ludhiana |  Tsung brags about paintings ahead of polls, calling them ‘an ₹19-cr scam’

Ludhiana | Tsung brags about paintings ahead of polls, calling them ‘an ₹19-cr scam’

Ahead of the Punjab assembly elections, the ruling Congress has put up billboards for the government’s plans, and Prime Minister Charanjit Singh Chani is showing up across the city – a move that has angered the opposition.

The opposition criticized Congress for the misuse of public funds, describing the move as ” RA scam of Rs 19 crore, where an external media advertising contractor got an undue financial benefit.”

Former BJP Local Authorities Cell and Counsellor Indir Agarwal said, “In the budget, the MC reduced the income from advertising from R23 crores to R15 crore, citing losses incurred by the advertising contractor due to the pandemic. Later, under the revised budget, the advertising budget was reduced to a mere R4 crores. ”

“While the government is going after the public for taxes, the contractor is getting favours, and strangely enough at that time the fund-hungry MC is trying to get R100 crore loan to carry out development works across the city,” he said.

Advertisements were shown on more than 170 unipoles and other media at all major roads and major intersections across the city, including Mall Road, Ferozepur Road, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Chandigarh Road, Hypwal, Jagraon Bridge, Gill Road, BRS Nagar, and Rajguru Nagar among other places.

These billboards promote recent decisions by the ruling party, including waiving outstanding energy arrears for consumers with connections up to 2 kW, lowering water tariffs for apartment buildings, and lowering electricity tariffs among other welfare schemes.

The ads also depict the Prime Minister as a “human year” as he appears with the beneficiaries on billboards, which also contain promotional slogans such as Gar Ghar Vitch Shali Gal, CM Channi / Punjab Sarkar Kare Masle Hal (All families discuss how CM Channi and Punjab government solve problems.)

MC officials blame the government

Meanwhile, MC officials said the state government lobbied the contractor directly for the announcement through the state’s Department of Public Relations and MC was in no way involved. The MC has to recover the advertising fee from the contractor as per the contract of outdoor media advertising and the budget has also been reduced by the state.

Mayor Belkar Sandhu said, “The annual income was under the advertising contract R23 crores. But MC agreed R15 crores as income under advertising header, with annual budget approved, as RRs 8 crore of relief was provided by the state government, citing the pandemic, and the contractor had given up 50% of the media. But when the budget was sent for approval from the state government, the government reduced it to R4 crore only, probably due to some errors. The MC has now sent a revised budget to the state government for approval as the income has been increased back to R15 crores. ”

Removal of government regulations after the Millennium Challenge Center is in place

Soon after the Model Code of Conduct was enforced, the municipal administration and corporation began the arduous process of removing political placards from the city, including those advertising government schemes and other illegal political placards.

However, the special regulations of leaders like Cabinet Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu, MLA Sanjay Talwar, and SAD Ludhiana Western candidate Maheshinder Singh Grewal among others are still installed in various districts. MC officials said the private panels are classified as paid advertisements and information about them will be shared with the Election Commission.

Additional MC Commissioner Aditya Dashalwal said, “Government banners have been removed as a model code of conduct has been enforced. The department has requested details of the paid advertisement from the contractor, and the same details will be shared with the Election Commission. The city’s paid advertisement media should be shared equally among the parties as per the standards” .

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