Papers procured under a Right To Information application by Daphne Warapan, filed on 21st August ‘09 asking for expenditure details of MLA funds, point to blatant misuse of MLA funds by sitting MLA and Congress candidate for assembly elections Baba Ziauddin Siddique (or Jiyauddin Siddiqui) for 177 Vandre (W).
Information obtained under this RTI is for the period between 31st Jan 2000 to 18th Aug 2009. Listed below are some areas where public funds have been misused for favouring private groups of people. Some items are also fraudulent ie. Fictitious items are shown as expenditure.
A. Parichay Society’s private premises / plot developed into a garden for private use through MLA’s public funds amount to Rs.5,19,685. See Item No.3 of this page: http://www.box.net/shared/nq1h7hv12v
B. The wall of Baba Nagar Hill road, a private property was repaired / constructed through the MLA funds amounting to Rs.2,07,870. See Item No.3 of this page: http://www.box.net/shared/21xoj0x450
C. Claims made to repair/construction of gutter/footpath, at ChiumVillage, using MLA funds, amounting to Rs. 4,15,890 . There are no footpaths in Chium village. Refer item no.15 of this page: http://www.box.net/shared/6ujgfzdgro
D. Bought a laptop and printer for himself from MLA funds amounting to 1,03,000. Refer item at bottom of this page: http://www.box.net/shared/c9tholezax
E. MLA claims to have made Balwadi at Chium Village in 2008 spending MLA funds amounting to Rs.2,50,000. The Balwadi at this place was actually constructed several years earlier. Refer item no.18 of this page: http://www.box.net/shared/coxipqtvuu
F. Funds for community centre which has been converted into Buddhist temple. Rajan Sherly Gaothan (pg 26 no 19) Rs 2.5 lakhs. Refer item no.19 of this page: http://www.box.net/shared/6ok3q7fvbt
G. Funds for Zafar Baba Dargah. Item no 17 of this page: http://www.box.net/shared/pb8o04bnit
H. Recently the MLA distributed garbage bins, all over his constituency, bought through his MLA funds. Photographs and part of his campaign report are available with Daphne. However, there is no trace of such uses in the RTI reply. See photo: http://www.box.net/shared/f77o6tcuut
I. In his adverts and brochures, MLA claims to have used his funds for Education and other general uses, but those are not reflected in the data revealed under RTI. This expenditure should have reflected in the RTI papers, but does not. The question then, is, which funds did he use?
J. We also wish to point out the MLA has directed approximately 85% of the funds available to him in areas where the Municipal Councillors are from his political party. While, this is perhaps not legal offence, it definitely is a moral one.
K. RTI Application and Reply may be downloaded here: http://www.box.net/shared/8dt64paq95
Nine activists from all over Mumbai (including Anandini Thakoor , Vidya Vaidya, Daphne Warapen , G R Vora and myself) are pushing to have Mr Siddiqui disqualified, and have accordingly sent a representation to the Election Commission.
Misappropriation of MLA funds is rampant among legislators of all political parties. Nonetheless, we need to take action selectively, based on the evidence that we have at hand, and make an example of Mr Siddiqui.