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Bhopal Mayor Sits on Dharna in Knee-Deep Water to 'Highlight Civic Woes'

The Congress termed the protest a publicity stunt, saying the mayor should give a status report on the seven major drains in Bhopal.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:July 12, 2018, 9:24 PM IST

Bhopal: Bhopal mayor Alok Sharma sat in the middle of a waterlogged road in the Old City on Thursday to highlight civic apathy in the area, drawing criticism from the Congress which dismissed the protest as a publicity stunt.

As torrential rains continued to pound the city, exposing the lack of preparedness by the authorities, Sharma sat on a chair opposite Saifia College in knee-deep water and made calls to Public Works Department officials, pulling them up for the mess.

An irate Sharma called up Bhopal divisional commissioner and PWD minister Rampal Singh and questioned him about a meeting with department officers last year where he was assured that things would improve within six months but no action was taken.

Panicked PWD officers rushed to the spot, claiming that corrective measures would be taken immediately.

Terming the protest a drama, Congress Vichar Vibhag head Bhupendra Gupta said, “The mayor failed to improve civic amenities in Bhopal and now, in election year, he is trying to divert attention from civic issues through such activities.” He added that there were seven major drains in Bhopal and the mayor should respond about their status too.

Anti-graft activist Ajay Dubey called the episode a “sponsored ploy” by the BJP mayor to improve his image.

A former student union leader of Saifia College in his youth, Sharma had contested from Bhopal North assembly constituency (Old Bhopal) in 2008 but lost to Congress’ Arif Aqueel.

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