BERHAMPUR: Cutting across party lines, several corporators of Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday engaged in a heated exchange with BJD MP from Berhampur Siddhant Mohapatra, holding him responsible for lack of development of the town.
"The MP is not interested in the town's development. He has never attended any council meeting to discuss issues related to this, even though he has been an MP for the last four years," the corporators alleged at a meeting, which Siddhant attended.
The actor-turned-politician, however, defended himself saying he was not invited to attend any meeting prior to the one held on Friday. "I can not attend a meeting if I am informed at the eleventh hour," Mohapatra said.
Berhampur mayor Siba Shabkar Dash, who is also from the BJD, however, denied the allegation that Mohapatra was informed about meetings at the eleventh hour. He said before holding any meeting, BMC informs all concerned members, MLAs and MP at least a week in advance.
Dash, along with other corporators, asked the MP what steps he had taken for the development of the town after being elected as an MP. Mohapatra said he had spent Rs 1.80 crore from his MPLAD funds for the development of the town. The corporators found this unsatisfactory and asked the MP why he could not arrange any Centre-sponsored special programme for the area.
The corporators, in an earlier meeting, sharply criticized the MP for not attending council meetings to discuss the development of the town.
Mohapatra said, "I had called an official meeting to known the central government projects which are being implemented in the town and the projects pending with the government. I also invited the Berhampur MLA and the mayor to the meeting. But it turned out to be any other council meeting attended by almost all councilors. Since they attended the meeting, it is natural for them to express their grievances."