New Delhi, Jan 25: Mayors of the three BJP-ruled municipal corporations today took strong exception to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's describing them as "political animals" and termed it as an "insult" to the denizens of Delhi.
"It does not behove of the CM of a state to use such a derogatory word like political animal against the mayors who are the first citizens of the areas of the city under their jurisdiction," East Delhi mayor Harshdeep Malhotra said.
"It is not an insult to us as mayors, but it is dishonouring the people of Delhi," he alleged.
Claiming no dues are pending for clearance at the AAP government's end, Kejriwal today said that mayors of all three corporations should "keep their houses in order."
"Mayors are political animals they will say anything. When the municipal commissioners are saying that nothing is due, the mayors should keep their house in order," he said on the demand of funds by the mayors.
Malhotra, however, claimed that Delhi government owed a due of Rs 275 crore as a Municipal Reforms Fund to the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).
North Delhi mayor Ravinder Gupta who had recently written letters to Kejriwal demanding payment of dues to the municipal corporations said the chief minister was "deflecting" the main issue of pending funds.
"We have been repeatedly asking Delhi government and the chief minister for paying the amount due to the three municipal corporations including Rs 1,200 crore to the North Delhi Municipal Corporation but they are dilly-dallying in a bid to avoid payment," he claimed.
The three corporations claim that they have a combined due of about Rs 3,000 owed by the Delhi government under the recommendations of the 3rd Delhi Finance Commission.
The mayors also refuted Kejriwal's claim that the commissioner's of respective corporations have given in writing that Delhi government "owes them no funds".
Delhi BJP president and SDMC councillor Satish Upadhyay too criticised Kejriwal for "lacking" political etiquette and terming mayors as "political animals".
He also challenged the chief minister to make public the "no due letters" written by the commissioners within 24 hours.