Development works held up, citizens to file PIL seeking Kalmadi's disqualification

A few people in the city will soon file a public interest litigation (PIL) against scam-tainted MP Suresh Kalmadi to disqualify him claiming his absence from his constituency was hampering its development works.

Vishal Ghadge, who plans to file the PIL seeking disqualification of
Suresh Kalmadi as MP, with UJD state chief Rajesh Jagtap

"Should we go and meet him in Tihar Jail for Pune's development works?" asked Vishal Ghadge, a 30-year-old businessman, who along with his friends plans to file the PIL in the Bombay High Court demanding his disqualification.

MP in jail since April
Kalmadi has been under severe censure ever since his arrest over irregularities in the contracts awarded for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The city MP has been in Tihar jail since last six months.

"We, as citizens of Pune and voters, need to do something against the vanished MP of Pune," said Ghadge, who is from Yerawada.

"After consulting with our lawyer we have started the process of filing a PIL in the Bombay High Court demanding that the city MP be disqualified and a by-election be conducted to the Lok Sabha."

Ghadge said it was imperative for the city MP to be physically present to discuss and decide many development issues.

"If the CBI has not allowed Kalmadi to attend Loksabha proceedings, it means the charges against our MP is serious," said Ghadge. "He may not get bail for the next six months.
If the city MP is not physically present, the World Bank funding and other findings from the central government is automatically held up."

Jagmohan Bankar, also from Yerawada, said if Kalmadi did not resign on his own, then legal procedure should be followed to disqualify him.

"The city is a metro and there is a grave need for its MP to be physically present.

None of the politicians lodged in Tihar Jail has got bail and Kalmadi may be inside for another six months which may ultimately hamper the development of the city," said Bankar.

Vidyadhar Dhakras, Rukhmini Kore, Vinayak Kate, Sunita Thombre and many others are supporting Ghadge's cause.

Political support
Rajesh Jagtap, state president, United Janata Dal, has extended his support to Ghadge and his friends. "Even the speaker of the Loksabha can disqualify the MP if he or she remains absent for 90 days.
This rule can also be applicable for an MP who has not visited his constituency for 90 or more days as per the Indian Constitution.
Therefore, the PIL might stand in the court of law, said Jagtap. "Our party is with Ghadge and his cause."

Bombay High Court lawyer Sanjay Panchal, who will file the PIL against Kalmadi on behalf of Ghadge, said the procedure was already on and would be completed soon.
"As per my knowledge, this is probably the first PIL against Kalmadi to disqualify him from his post by a citizen of Pune," said Panchal.

32 proposals for city
MiD DAY had reported about proposals worth Rs 2.3 crore sent by Suresh Kalmadi from Tihar Jail on July 18 by sending a fax from the prison.

Vinod Surve, his personal assistant, had said Kalmadi was likely to send some more proposals soon.

Mangala Ghode, planning officer for MP funds, said: "As per the government rules, each MP blocks his or her expenditure for the respective proposals on the development works.
Kalmadi has sent a total of 32 proposals for the city and is asking Rs 4.41 crore to be spent from his MP funds."

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