In what seems to be a case of dynastic politics, the Bharatiya Janata Party nominated the son of its city unit president as a member of the BEST committee in the civic body.
Akash Purohit, 27, is the elder son of Raj Purohit, whose daughter-in-law had rebelled against the party's official nominee in the civic elections.
The civic committee that governs the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) is seen as one of the more important panels of the BMC and handles a budget of over Rs4,000 crore.
Raj Purohit was not available for a comment, but a close aide justified the move saying Akash was not new in the party. “He has been working with BJP’s youth wing for the past five to six years and is currently the president of the youth wing's Colaba assembly area,” the aide said.
The members of various civic committees are nominated by parties on the basis of their strength in the house. Though elected corporators are appointed as members of the committees, parties can also nominate a few non-corporators to the BEST and the education committees.
“All committee nominations have been decided by the party's high power committee. Akash is one of them,” said Niranjan Shetty, media in-charge of BJP's city unit.
While the BJP chose to send the son of its city unit president on the BEST committee, the Congress used the provision to nominate its two veteran ex-corporators, Ravi Raja and Kisan Jadhav, on the panel. Both lost the recent civic polls. While Raja has worked on the BEST committee for 14 years, Jadhav was the opposition leader in the BMC from 1999 to 2002.
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena had to please the 18 independent corporators who voted for Sena-BJP-RPI in the mayoral elections. As per the 'deal', the Sena rewarded two independent corporators — Rais Kasam Shaikh and Siraj Shaikh — by nominating them as members of the civic standing committee. The standing committee is a powerful bunch of corporators that deals with all financial matters and approves the civic body's Rs21,000-crore budget.
The other independents — Makarand Narvekar, Mangesh Pawar and Leena Harish Shukla — were appointed on the civic education committee. This committee deals with issues related to primary education, and is responsible for clearing recognitions and granting permissions to new primary schools.
The Sena also promised other independents chairmanship of ward committees in return for their support in the BMC.