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| Last Updated:21/05/2014

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Son of a sanitation worker occupies highest chair in South corpn

The Indian Express, 07 May 2014


The son of a sanitation worker; a first-time councillor; and a two-time chairman of the Standing Committee.


These are Delhi’s three new mayors. A week after being elected, Yogendra Chandolia (North), Meenakshi (East), and Khushi Ram (South) spelled out their priorities and their take on the trifurcation of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.


The three mayors, who gave the BJP yet another hat-trick, consolidating the party’s hold on the municipal corporations, belong to the SC category due to the reservation policy contained in the MCD Act. According to the policy, in the third year of the corporation, the seat of mayor is reserved for the SC category.


Khushi Ram (40) is the son of a a former sanitation worker of the corporation who until last year worked for the corporation. “I am the son of a sanitation worker. I have seen their plight. I will work for their welfare as class IV employees of the corporation help us achieve our first priority, which is to keep the city clean,” Khushi Ram said.


The South Delhi Mayor currently lives in a small house — about 25 square yards — in the JJ colony of Madan Gir. The party has written to the commissioner requesting him to provide accommodation to the newly elected mayor stating that “the mayor receives many delegations and guests and Khushi Ram’s present residence is not big enough to host guests. Hence the UD Ministry or the PWD should allot him accommodation at the earliest”.


He said parking was the main issue for Delhi residents and he will work towards resolving that first. “Mafia has control of parking lots in the city. We will weed them out and also mark and delimit parking areas using yellow lines,” Khushi Ram said. He added that revenue generation was another one of his priorities.


Like Khushi Ram, East Delhi Mayor Meenakshi too is a first-time councillor. She is also the youngest mayor in Delhi’s history. She represents the unauthorised Shiv Vihar where the councillor’s budget cannot be spent. The 33-year-old joined the BJP in 2007 and was given the ticket for the reserved Shiv Nagar seat in 2012. Meenakshi won by a margin of 8,500 votes which she claims is the biggest winning margin in the MCD elections held in 2012.


In her office, a photo of Mahatma Gandhi and former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee hangs next to each other. Meenakshi said she grew up in a family which followed the RSS ideology. Her husband is also a BJP office-bearer.