While the Shiv Sena passed proposals worth crores before the polls were announced, the party’s pet projects will now have to wait owing to the code of conduct announced yesterday. This includes the Thackeray memorial at the mayor’s bungalow in Shivaji Park, the penguin exhibit at Byculla and the Mahalaxmi racecourse.
On Thursday, the State Election Commission announced that Mumbai’s civic polls will be held on February 21 and the results will be announced on February 23. During the code of conduct, which was imposed yesterday, elected representatives cannot make any decisions that could influence voters. “Though committee meetings will be held to discuss ongoing work, policies or proposals that are in the interest of citizens cannot be passed,” said a civic official.
So, even though BMC allies, the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) called for an urgent meeting of the improvements committee meeting to pass the proposal to build the Thackeray memorial, they cannot get a final approval from the general body now. The new general body consisting of 227 corporators will be constituted by March 8.
Similarly, civic officials confirmed that the Shiv Sena will not be able to inaugurate the penguin exhibit — touted as Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray’s pet project — at Byculla zoo. “Mumbaiites already know that the Shiv Sena has worked for the exhibit. We will come back in March and pass all these proposals. There is no doubt about that,” said Trushna Vishwasrao, senior Sena leader.
Last week, the Shiv Sena rejected a proposal to renew the leases of 236 properties in the city, including the Mahalaxmi racecourse. Rather than renewing the plot’s lease, which expired in 2013, the party wants to develop a themed garden at the spot, a demand that was a part of its 2014 election manifesto. As two-thirds of the racecourse belong to the state, senior civic officials said the BMC wrote to the state government seeking a consensus. "We are yet to receive a response," said a senior civic official.