Indore Municipal Corporation files complaint against BharatPe co-founder for insulting city’s cleanliness

Ashneer Grover

Indore: Indore has been ranked as the cleanest city in India for four consecutive years in the National Cleanliness Survey conducted by the Central Government. However, Ashneer Grover, the co-founder of BharatPe, a fintech company, made derogatory remarks about the city’s achievement during a business event on Sunday. He alleged that Indore had bought the survey and that the city was not clean.

His comments sparked outrage among the audience and the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC), which lodged a non-cognizable offense information report (NCR) against him on Monday evening. A police officer said that the NCR was registered under section 499 (defamation) and section 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code. The complainant can file a case against him in court on a personal level.

The IMC Chief Sanitary Inspector (CSI) Sanjay Ghavri, who filed the complaint, said that Grover’s statement was an insult to the entire Indore and its thousands of sanitation workers who work hard to keep the city clean. He said that Grover’s controversial statement had gone viral on social media.

Grover had said at the event, “There is a concept called ‘playing to the gallery’, which means wherever you go, you praise the city. I have been hearing for three years that Indore is the cleanest city. … You have purchased the survey. It’s a simple thing.”

When he faced boos from the audience, he added, “Cleanliness is not just about chips packets, it is also about debris. There is construction everywhere (in the city).”

Ashneer Grover

Grover later tried to clarify that he did not mean to say that Indore was dirty, but that he was referring to the ongoing construction works in the city. However, his clarification did not pacify the Indore Mayor Pushyamitra Bhargava, who expressed strong displeasure over his remarks and instructed him to take appropriate legal action against him.