The Shiv Sena’s efforts to develop a theme park in place of the Mahalaxmi racecourse took a controversial turn on Tuesday, with the ruling Sena BJP alliance passing a resolution on it without formal discussion in the civic general body meeting.
The house witnessed ugly scenes as angry Opposition members created a ruckus and a scuffle broke out between Congress and Sena corporators after Congress corporator Sheetal Mhatre was assaulted by two Sena women corporators for giving bangles to mayor Sunil Prabhu as he did not allow members to raise objections to the proposal.
The clearance of the proposal does not mean much as the state has the final say.
Amidst hitting each other and pulling chains, the special discussion on frequent building collapses took a backseat. “We raised our voice for 15 minutes asking the mayor to let us discuss the racecourse issue, but he ignored us,” said Mhatre.
Prabhu adjourned the meeting after the ruckus went on for more than 30 minutes. However, he did not explain why the resolution was pushed through without the corporators’ opinion.
“The commissioner will decide on the issue. There is no need for a debate in the house.
I condemn the Opposition’s behaviour. A meeting will be held with group leaders and we will decide what action can be taken against the corporator [Mhatre]. Our members were not at fault and only reacted to her action,” he said.
Sena corporator Yamini Jadhav, who was involved in the scuffle, said: “Mhatre should publicly apologise to the mayor, only then will we allow her to attend meetings.”
Both parties later filed police complaints against each other at Azad Maidan police station. Congress legislator Amin Patel said the party would demand that the racecourse proposal be reopened so that it can be discussed.
“The civic chief has a right to reject the proposal. We will also request the state to take serious note of what happened and the way our corporator was beaten up.”
After the incident, Congress members met civic commissioner Sitaram Kunte to express their opinion on the issue.