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Lalwani?s posturing proves futile

WHEN HE resigned to protest a ?vulgar? dance performance during Gudi Padwa celebrations, Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) Chairman Shankar Lalwani no doubt thought it was a shrewd political maneuver - one that would embarrass Mayor Dr Uma Shashi Sharma and at the same time earn him brownie points with the anti-Mayor faction headed by City BJP chief Ramesh Mendola.

india Updated: Apr 09, 2006 22:23 IST

WHEN HE resigned to protest a ‘vulgar’ dance performance during Gudi Padwa celebrations, Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) Chairman Shankar Lalwani no doubt thought it was a shrewd political maneuver - one that would embarrass Mayor Dr Uma Shashi Sharma and at the same time earn him brownie points with the anti-Mayor faction headed by City BJP chief Ramesh Mendola.

Things, however, haven’t quite panned out that way. Instead of pouring opprobrium on the Mayor, the BJP leadership referred the matter to the party’s core committee, which was asked to determine who was responsible for the vulgar programme.

The committee, comprising MP Sumitra Mahajan and MLAs, was scheduled to meet on April 5 and then again today, but the meetings had to be cancelled on both occasions. Meanwhile, the IMC Chairman has been left twiddling his thumbs.

Lalwani, who returned his official car as well as other accoutrements of office when he submitted his resignation to the City BJP chief on April 2, has not visited the IMC headquarters since putting in his papers.

Which means that the Chairman has voluntarily chosen to be sidelined from the 2006-07 budgetary preparations that have been in full swing for the past three days, an omission that could prove costly in the coming fiscal year.

“If he was serious about quitting he would have sent Mayor and not the City BJP president. Since he obviously intends to stay on, absenting himself at such a crucial juncture makes no sense,” said a senior BJP corporator.

Lalwani himself remains firm though. “I will neither attend office nor use any facilities given to the IMC Chairman until the core committee has delivered its judgement”. And when might that be? No one seems to know.

“We are following the due course and a meeting of the core committee will be held in the next 2-3 days,” said City BJP chief Ramesh Mendola who refused to entertain further queries. It may be recalled that Lalwani had resigned to protest a ‘semi-nude’ dance programme performed by Preeti Bhalla and her troupe during Gudi Padwa celebrations organised by the IMC at Gandhi Hall on April 2.