SARLAHI, April 3: Ward chiefs of Balara Municipality along with some locals have started a relay sit-in from Monday accusing the mayor of appointing his brother to a public post.
Mayor Abhay Singh has been accused of naming his brother Pankaj Kumar Singh as the chairperson of a consumers' committee of a local road project. Chiefs of five wards of the municipality have accused him of making development-related decisions without consulting them. Irked protesters have also padlocked the municipal office.
Santosh Kumar Singh, chief of ward no 1, vented his ire against the mayor for not informing him about the formation of consumers' committee and appointing his own brother as its chairman.
"We have no idea how the consumers' committee, which will be running the project of Rs 8 million, was formed," he said. According to him, the municipality decided to start the project on its own with an ill-intention of misappropriating government funds.
Other ward chiefs Kaushal Kishor Singh, Ananda Kishor Singh, Nageshwor Ray, Lal Babu Sahani and Umesh Kumar Singh are staging the relay sit-in. They have demanded scrapping of the consumers' committee and transparency in budget and allowance distribution. If their demands are not addressed by April 8, they have warned of staging fast-unto-death.
Meanwhile, Mayor Abhay Singh stated that he has been doing everything abiding by the law and has been transparent about financial issues. He even claimed that it was the villagers' decision to appoint his brother as the chairperson of the committee.