Shiv Sena threatens no-confidence motion over potholes
On Thursday, it gave an ultimatum to the municipal commissioner to fix potholes in the city, or face a no-confidence motion in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)mumbai Updated: Oct 14, 2016 00:04 IST
At the receiving end over the potholes on the city’s roads, the Shiv Sena sought to blame the civic administration over the issue. On Thursday, it gave an ultimatum to the municipal commissioner to fix potholes in the city, or face a no-confidence motion in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). During the standing committee meeting on Thursday, the Sena also took a jibe at its ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), by saying that chief minister Devendra Fadnavis should ask commissioner Ajoy Mehta to go back to his previous post in the state government.
The jibes and the heated discussions on potholes comes months before the BMC goes to polls in February 2017.
Mehta was principal secretary (environment) before assuming post as the municipal commissioner in 2015. Questioning the BMC’s claims of only 35 potholes on city roads, the Sena last week had ordered an inquiry on the officials who made these claims. However, corporators found the statement presented in today’s meeting inadequate. All the parties unanimously adjourned the meeting.
Yashodhar Phanse, Sena corporator and chairman of the BMC standing committee, said, “You (the administration) are giving us information on what are the new road works to be undertaken. The standing committee is the one passing these proposals. We had asked for an inquiry on officials, the visits undertaken by the commissioner and the solutions to the pothole menace. They are not a part of the report.”
A no-confidence motion can be passed in the general body meeting of BMC, which is to be held on October 23.
The leader of the house and Sena corporator Trushna Vishwasrao said, “Adjourning the meeting is not the solution. The administration is playing its own politics. We would request the chief minister who assigned this role to the commissioner to call him back.” She also said that BMC has missed the 15-day deadline for fixing potholes ordered by Fadnavis.
When contacted, Mehta refused to comment on the issue. A senior civic official, however, said, “Is the political class looking at a no-confidence motion for unearthing a huge road scam in the city?”
This is the fourth standing committee in a row where corporators slammed the civic body for the state of roads in the city. Post the meeting last week, the Samajwadi Party conducted a pothole count in the A ward. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) created a ruckus by forcing the chief engineer (roads) to hold a board claiming he is responsible for the roads. Close to 4,200 engineers protested against the incident. The two MNS corporators responsible were also arrested post the incident.
BJP corporators demanded a joint-visit of the committee and officials again on Thursday. Manoj Kotak, BJP group leader said, “We are ready to go the chief minister and ask for the suspension of all these engineers who are more interested in getting corporators arrested. We do not need such officials.”
Opposition leaders said that they will initiate a no-confidence motion against the commissioner before the next standing committee meeting itself.