Do not pay property tax, JD(S) leader urges people

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Bangalore, November 13:  Demanding that the State government supersede the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), R. Prakash, Janata Dal (Secular) Floor Leader in the civic body’s council, called upon citizens to not pay property tax to protest against the dismal civic amenities in the city.

Upset with no development work being taken up or any welfare scheme implemented over the past two years and the inordinate delay in sanctioning medical grants, he has threatened to go on an indefinite strike. “I will give the Mayor and Commissioner around 20 days’ time to release the medical grants,” he told presspersons on Tuesday and added that he would write to the government demanding that the civic body be superseded.

He said that the BBMP was almost bankrupt and had pending bills and loans amounting to nearly Rs. 4,000 crore. “When the BBMP is not able to provide any basic facilities such as motorable roads, streetlights, well-maintained parks and playgrounds, why should the citizens pay property tax?” he asked.

About the medical grants, Mr. Prakash said that nearly 4,000 applications for medical grants were pending with the Mayor’s office.

Many applicants, who were counting on the grants, had passed away, he alleged. He charged that the medical grants amounting to Rs. 4 lakh each to all 198 councillors was yet to be released.

No attempts were made to implement the Vajpayee Arogyashree scheme for which cards had already been issued.

“The Mayor is not bothered about anything other than the city market’s cleanliness. Though I have raised this issue thrice, the medical benefits still elude the needy,” he charged. He claimed that though he tried several times, he was not able to meet Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan.

“The Commissioner seems to be in hiding. Nobody seems to know when he will come to BBMP,” he remarked.

They can go: Mayor

Responding to the allegations, Mayor B.S. Sathyanarayana said that if the Janata Dal (Secualr) leader wanted the BBMP to be superseded, he and his party colleagues in the BBMP council could “resign in protest”. He took objection to his statements and noted that as he, as a councillor, should not be making “irresponsible statements”.

“The JD(S) councillors are members of various standing committees, including Taxation and Finance. How can the BBMP take up any development work if people do not pay property tax? He should urge people to pay tax instead of asking them to desist from doing so,” he said.

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