In Chandigarh, many councilors of BJP, Congress and other parties bought expensive electronic gadgets with government money.
The corporators of Chandigarh are leaving no stone unturned to waste public money. Councilors are continuously buying electronic gadgets with government money. Some councilors in Chandigarh, even after being re-elected, buy every other newly launched electronic item, be it a cellphone or a laptop.
While the common man may find it difficult to buy a hi-pad, smartphone or laptop as soon as it is launched. In Chandigarh, selected delegates purchased Apple, DELL, HP products. As per luxury freebies allocation, while for mayor the amount can be unlimited for each term, which is one year. A corporator can buy a mobile phone once every five years for a maximum amount of Rs 40,000 and a laptop for Rs 75,000.
Documents accessed by The Indian Express show that from 2016 till date, the councilors made a lot of purchases. Those re-elected in 2021 also did not miss the opportunity and continued to buy gadgets, knowing that public money was spent on buying electronic gadgets in the previous term as well.
Councilor Davinder Singh Babla bought the Samsung Galaxy A9 in January 2017 itself, just a month after getting elected in December 2016. Then in February 2018, he bought a new HP Pavilion laptop. While he bought another phone in 2020 Samsung S10.
While his wife Harpreet Babla, who switched from Congress to BJP, bought an Apple MacBook Air and an Oppo Reno phone in March 2022. In another instance, Councilor Kanwarjit Rana bought both a Samsung Galaxy S7 and an HP laptop in 2017. On the other hand, after getting re-elected in 2022, Kanwarjit Rana did not waste much time and bought a new iPhone and soon he also bought a Mac Book Air.
Maheshinder Singh Sidhu, a corporator from VIP wards, bought an iPhone 7 in 2017 after getting elected in December 2016. Thereafter, Sidhu also bought the latest DELL Intel Core I7 laptop in the same year. While Sidhu’s shopping spree did not stop even after being re-elected. In 2022, he also bought a new Samsung S20 and an HP laptop in the same year. Similarly, in 2017, Dilip Sharma bought an iPhone 6S at public expense and a MAC Book Air just days after getting elected.
After being re-elected, Dalip upgraded his laptop with a new one and bought a DELL Core 5 in 2022. SAD councilor Hardeep Singh is no less and has been buying phones and laptops of different brands after tenure. According to the documents, in 2017, Hardeep had also bought iPhone 6 and Mac Book Air. In 2022, Hardeep bought an ASUS laptop and an iPhone 12 mini.
Gurbux Rawat’s love for the iPhone is no secret either. While in 2017, he bought a new iPhone 7 and an HP laptop. At the same time, after being re-elected, in 2022, he bought iPhone 11 and HP Light Book worth Rs 74,340.
According to the documents, more than Rs 50 lakh has been spent on laptops since 2016. While the batch of newly elected councilors mostly bought high end laptops worth Rs 27.01 lakh. Between 2016 and 2021, councilors have bought laptops worth more than Rs 23 lakh only.
According to the document, from 2016 to date, 33 councilors took mobile phones from taxpayers’ funds, 21 of them bought new Apple phones launched in India. Everyone from BJP’s Ravikant Sharma to Sunita Dhawan and Satish Kumar bought the latest Apple phones. While the then Independent Councilor Dalip Sharma, Councilor Sachin Kumar, Haji Mohammad Khurshid Ali, Kamla Sharma all bought iPhone 6S. SAD councilor Hardeep Singh, BJP’s Chandrawati Shukla, Ravikant Sharma, Heera Negi had iphone 6. Arun Sood, Mahesh Inder Sidhu, Rajesh Kalia, Rajesh Gupta, Davesh Modgil, Jagtar Singh, Vinod Agarwal, Sat Prakash Agarwal all bought Apple iPhone 7 in the first half of 2017.