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Kripa hijacks MMRDA event

Tainted MLA Kripashankar Singh’s diary seems to be full these days. If earlier this week the city police called the Congress politician to their Iftar party, a Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) function saw him hogging the limelight yesterday.

Kripashankar Singh
Hogging the limelight: Kripashankar Singh and chief minister Prithviraj Chavan at the inauguration ceremony of the LBS Marg flyover yesterday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

The inauguration of the 565-metre LBS Marg flyover built by the MMRDA on the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR) appeared more like a Congress event than a government function, and Singh was once again the centre of attraction.

Playing the host
Singh, within whose assembly constituency the Rs 16-crore flyover stands, was seen going all out to ensure the arrangements at the MMRDA programme were up to the mark so that the people and various VIPs in attendance did not have any complaints.

Though the LBS Marg flyover programme was organised by the MMRDA and the invitees included the CM, the mayor and the PWD minister, Singh could not be bothered with such niceties as keeping a low profile.

Even the media was invited, but that did not stop Singh from lording it on his turf despite the bad press from Monday’s Iftar party (Mumbai police invite tainted Kripa to their Iftar party, MiD DAY, August 8).

The official invitation mail mentioned the flyover would be inaugurated by the chief minister at 3.45 pm, but area residents and other invitees at the venue said Singh and other Congress workers behaved as if the programme were a political event that belonged to them.

“They should have understand it was MMRDA’s programme,” a resident said. “Kripashankar Singh and other Congress workers were behaving as if it was their party function.

Not only did they bring their people for the programme, but also arranged for them to sit on chairs reserved for others.”

Singh even took the mike and made announcements while MMRDA officials stood around quietly on stage. Though Singh told his men to vacate the chairs meant for others after the media brought it to his notice, very few took their leader’s request seriously.

“Singh also caused inconvenience to the general public as we had to stand as Congress workers captured the chairs meant for us,” a resident said. “Singh even felicitated the VIPs himself, without taking permission from the MMRDA.”

An MMRDA official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “It was very much our programme and we have held the felicitation of the VIPs on our own. It will be wrong to say someone else took over the programme from us and turned it into a political event.” 

Cong says
On Kripashankar Singh, MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre said: “Whatever allegations against Singh have been made are part of court proceedings and they are under scrutiny before the SC.

Till the court pronounces its verdict, he can’t be called guilty. The party has already made its stand clear. And wherever he was invited, it is in his capacity as an MLA. Even at the MMRDA function, he was invited as the location is part of his assembly constituency.”

—Ravikiran Deshmukh 

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