The political debate on splitting Mumbai’s governance for more efficient functioning has been revived.
The Shiv Sena has opposed Congress Member of Legislative Council (MLC) Bhai Jagtap’s suggestion that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) be split into two—one arm each for the city and the suburbs--for better governance.
Jagtap had said this on Wednesday at a meeting of legislators from Mumbai with Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.
The Sena, however, has vowed to fight any such efforts. Accusing the Congress of a “ploy to split Mumbai from Maharashtra”, Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray said, “The Sena will not allow this to happen at any cost. Only our party has the courage to stop the Congress from taking any steps to divide the civic body.”
Uddhav, whose party runs the BMC with the Bharatiya Janata Party, said it was an old habit of the Congress to raise such issues through smaller leaders and then turn them into a reality. “The Congress always shows a different picture while the truth is something else. The truth is now out with this demand to divide the BMC,” Uddhav said.
Accusing the government of setting up the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority to take over the BMC, Uddhav said that he had been often saying that a city should have only one governing body. “They say the BMC was unable to handle malaria, but where was the government when BMC employees were working day and night to fight the epidemic? When Sena leaders were taking regular meetings with commissioners and health officers and when sainiks were holding health camps?” Uddhav asked. “If the government wants to blame the BMC, they should also check how much right the BMC has over various issues in Mumbai.”
Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, meanwhile, did not agree with Jagtap’s suggestion. “I don't think there is need to divide BMC,” Bhujbal told journalists at his residence on Thursday.
Sena opposes ‘Bombay’ on RBI cheques
Sena leaders walked into the Reserve Bank of India office on Thursday objecting to the word ‘Bombay’ on cheque leaves issued by the RBI. They tore down the instruction board written in Hindi and English and demanded that Marathi signages also be put up.