At least eight builders have been elected to the state Assembly from Mumbai in the recent elections. With builders turning legislators, the worry is: Will such legislators support the state’s plans to make the industry more transparent, or will they sabotage it?
The eight include three from the Congress — Rameshsingh Thakur, Amin Patel and Baba Siddiqui — three from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena — Ram Kadam, Nitin Sardesai and Mangesh Sangle — Ravindra Waikar from the Shiv Sena and Mangal Prabhat Lodha from the BJP.
Thakur, who won from Kandivli, and is director of the Thakur Group, said he will strike a balance between consumers and builders. “I will not allow any law that favours only buyers and discriminates against builders. How can development happen in this city if there are no incentives for builders,” he said.
Sardesai, who won from Mahim, and is a partner in Matoshree Builders, said he will pursue measures that favour citizens. “Builders who are transparent need not fear such regulations and I am open to any such measures,” said Sardesai.
Political analyst Nilu Damle said builders entering politics only shows how financial muscle now dominates the political system. “It is now impossible to campaign without big money, and builders have lots of it. And it gives them clout, ensuring their projects are not struck in red tape,” he said.