There seems to be no end to controversy in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Even as rumours suggesting a secret meeting between the mayor and blacklisted third-party auditors have surfaced, Snehal Ambekar has refuted the allegations.
The BMC has suspended two chief engineers, filed FIRs and initiated the process of blacklisting six contractors and two third-party auditors for irregularities in construction of roads.
“There are many vehicles that enter the mayor’s bungalow, but that doesn’t mean I meet each one of them. Why would I meet blacklisted auditors? I had asked commissioner to expedite the inquiry, submit the report to me and take strict action. I deny meeting any such contractors,” said mayor Snehal Ambekar. “We also plan to send a notice to the news channel which gave out wrong information.”
The allegations have given another chance to alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to point fingers at the Shiv Sena. The two have been squabbling to earn brownie points over the unearthing of the road scam for almost a year.
So far, the BJP has been taking credit for various scams that rocked the civic body—from desilting scam to revision of open spaces. On Monday, as Mumbai civic chief Ajoy Mehta submitted a probe report confirming alleged irregularities in construction of 34 roads, the BJP again claimed credit for it. The Sena rubbished the BJP’s claim and said the mayor, through her letter, had demanded an inquiry into road works.
The Opposition parties, too, are targeting Sena over the scam. Corporators in the standing committee on Wednesday asked for report that was submitted to the mayor on Monday. However, even after three days, the report has not been presented.
Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar demanded police investigation should be conducted not only to nail the guilty officials and contractors but also those behind them.
Although the two parties have been ruling the BMC together for about two decades, they are now trying to blame each other for the city’s problems, as they prepare to contest next year’s civic polls separately.