Cong MLAs demand luxury flats in Commonwealth Games Village

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Old 05-Apr-2010
Cong MLAs demand luxury flats in Commonwealth Games Village

NEW DELHI: They may already have plenty of perquisites but that doesn't stop Delhi's legislators belonging to the ruling Congress party from hankering for more. They have their eyes firmly set on the luxurious apartments being readied at the Commonwealth Games Village near Akshardham temple, and are demanding that they be allotted flats on a priority basis - that too at a special price.

Not surprisingly, the demand raised by Matia Mahal MLA Shoaib Iqbal on the floor of the House was enthusiastically supported by all Congress MLAs. While public opinion may not be quite as supportive, chief minister Sheila Dikshit chose to pass the buck. "If you all want this then either bring a resolution or put out your demand and I will forward it to the concerned authorities. I have no role in the matter but your sentiments can be made known to those concerned with the allotments," she said.

The views of the main opposition party, the BJP, could not be immediately ascertained since its MLAs had been directed to stay away from the proceedings for three days after they created a ruckus in the House over cow slaughter on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Iqbal pointed out that luxurious flats were being created in the Games Village which will be left vacant once the players leave. "If private companies can buy these flats, then why can't the government buy these flats and give them to us. We don't have houses and the government must do something about it," he said.

Four-time Congress MLA Mukesh Sharma enthusiastically championed the `housing' cause for his fellow MLAs. "DDA had stepped in to bail out Emaar-MGF when it was caught in a crisis so that the project could be completed. I propose that DDA should allot flats to us MLAs from among those apartments (700) that are in its possession. We should be sold these flats at a special price and probably a loan plan should be worked out to facilitate the sale to the MLAs so that they can have a house," Sharma said.

MLA Subhash Chopra, who is a non-officio political member of the DDA, immediately jumped to his feet and said the proposal could be put before the concerned authorities.

At this chief minister Sheila Dikshit rose to say, "The demand for housing for MLAs has been there for long now. I have earlier also said that the MLAs should form a society to take this forward. As far as the Games Village goes, if the MLAs make a formal proposal it can be referred to the authorities concerned. The decision lies with those in charge of these flats and not with us."

As the discussion came to a close, finance minister A K Walia intervened in a lighter vein. "I was not worried at the beginning of the discussion. Par ab mujhe phikar ho rahi hai. Kyonki Games Village meri constituency mein aati hai aur agar aap sab 70 maharathi wahan rahenge to kya hoga (I'm worried because the Games Village comes within my constituency and if 70 of you live there, what will become of me)," he quipped.

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