Navi Mumbai still needs Tukaram Mundhe, says Fadnavis | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Navi Mumbai still needs Tukaram Mundhe, says Fadnavis

While the chief minister, who is said to have hand-picked Mundhe, backed the bureaucrat, the Shiv Sena said the civic chief was voted out with a resounding majority and the state should respect this

mumbai Updated: Oct 27, 2016 23:51 IST
Manasi Phadke
CM Fadnavis told HT that Tukaram Mundhe was trying to change illegal and non-transparent  systems in the coropration.
CM Fadnavis told HT that Tukaram Mundhe was trying to change illegal and non-transparent systems in the coropration.(Vijayanand Gupta/HT )

Indicating that the no-confidence vote against Navi Mumbai civic chief Tukaram Mundhe may not hold at the state level, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said Navi Mumbai still needs him, and the state should stand by the good officers.

However, the chief minister said he has advised Mundhe — who was voted out for allegedly disrespecting elected representatives and acting arbitrarily — to improve his communication skills with public representatives.

“Tukaram Mundhe is a very efficient officer. There have been some systems in the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) that were not very legal and quite non-transparent for many years. He tried to change them. That disturbed many people,” said Fadnavis, speaking at an interaction with the HT newsroom on Thursday.

“I have advised him to improve his communication skills. Otherwise, I think Mundhe is doing a good job in Navi Mumbai. The city still requires him,” he added.

Corporators from the NMMC on Tuesday passed a no-confidence motion against Mundhe, an IAS officer of the 2005 batch, with a 104-6 vote in the 111-member house. Corporators from Congress and Shiv Sena supported the motion proposed by the ruling Nationalist Congress Party, while six BJP corporators voted against it. One corporator was absent. The state government, however, can use its special powers to suspend or rescind such a resolution.

The officer has, however, won plaudits from Navi Mumbai residents for his aggressive action against illegal construction, hawkers and corruption ever since he took over five months ago.

The differing stances of the BJP and the Shiv Sena on the no-confidence vote against Mundhe may, however, widen the rift between the two allies.

While the chief minister, who is said to have hand-picked Mundhe, backed the bureaucrat, the Shiv Sena taunted the state saying the civic chief was voted out with a resounding majority and the state should respect the democratic consensus.

“Whether it is at the Gram Panchayat level or the Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha level, any government runs on the basis of democracy. If the six BJP corporators were given their independence to cast their vote, even they would have stamped their opposition to Mundhe,” said the Shiv Sena in an editorial in its mouthpiece, Saamana.

The Shiv Sena said the party has always supported honest and courageous bureaucrats such as GR Khairnar, a former civic servant in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, and T Chandrashekhar, the former Thane civic chief.

However, in Mundhe’s case, corporators have complained about his unjust action against project-affected people, hawkers and arbitrary decision making ever since he took over the NMMC, said the Shiv Sena.

“A government must be run through self-control and unity. Tukaram Mundhe has a long career ahead of him. He has to do a lot of work, but his future seems difficult if he continues to work with a hot head and lack of self restraint. Today, Fadnavis might just stroke his ego for political gains, but what about tomorrow?” the Sena said.

“I don’t look at who is supporting an issue and who isn’t. That is immaterial. We need to stand by the good ones,” said Fandavis.