With just over three months to go for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, the war between political parties to claim credit for civic projects has begun heating up.
The Shiv Sena and the Congress are presently sparring over the Rs577-crore road works sanctioned by the civic body to improve the city’s major roads. Both parties are claiming credit for undertaking the project.
Congress corporator from Anik, Rajendra Mahulkar, has put up banners meriting himself for the road works in his ward. He had earlier conducted a bhoomipujan of the project, a move that angered the Sena.
Standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale said, “This is plain hypocrisy. Initially, the Congress opposed the project’s approval to gain brownie points. After the Sena-BJP got the project approved, the Congress went ahead to claim credit for it.”
Mahulkar dismissed Shewale’s allegations. “How can the chairman indulge in petty politics? I have been single-handedly overlooking the development of this road for the past three years.”
Senior Congress corporator Sameer Desai said, “The BMC is spending taxpayers’ money on the new road. It doesn’t belong to the Sena. Also, we had never called for re-tendering for the project, but had insisted on better checks to gauge the quality of work being done.”
To this, Prabhakar Shinde, senior Sena corporator said, “The Congress had specifically asked for the tender to be scrapped. How can they lie about it?”
The road works project is not an isolated case. On Wednesday, Sena and Congress corporators lashed out at each other over a project to build 4,000 more toilets in the slums.
The Sena initially opposed the project. When the Congress accused the party of being ‘anti-poor’ and resorted to name-calling, the Sena agreed to the proposal, fuelling speculations that the agreement was inked keeping in mind the polls.