BMC standing committee continues virtual meeting; BJP, Cong-NCP and SP cry foul
A week after Bombay high court (HC) ordered Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s standing committee to permit members to physically attend the standing committee meeting, the BMC continued with a virtual meeting on Wednesday. However, the BMC’s standing committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav, a Shiv Sena corporator, cited the direction by state’s urban development department responsible for virtual meetings.
On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has cried foul and threatened to go to court over contempt order. Along with the BJP, Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) have joined together demanding a physical meeting for the standing committee.
The Bombay high court had directed the chairman of the BMC’s standing committee to permit members to physically attend the standing committee meeting.
However, the state government on Tuesday wrote to the BMC over following its earlier order of June 28 to have a virtual meeting considering a final decision is pending on the same.
The BJP alleged that the Shiv Sena was purposely trying to host the meetings online so that the other members are not able to point out any wrongdoings, which are likely to get passed.
Bhalchandra Shirsat, BJP corporator and standing committee member said, “We will move to the court on Thursday. This is a clear contempt of the court’s order.” SP leader and MLA Rais Shaikh said, “This is the murder of democracy as a meeting which needs voting on several issues cannot continue to be held online at a time when most Covid-related restrictions have been eased.”
Ravi Raja, leader of Opposition and Congress corporator along with NCP’s group leader in the BMC Rakhi Jadhav have also demanded a physical meeting. Javed Juneja, Congress corporator and standing committee member in the BMC said he has written to the municipal commissioner and the mayor to resume physical meetings.
Shiv Sena corporator and standing committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav said that he was simply following an order of the urban development department which states that they are still to decide upon allowing physical meetings. Jadhav said, “While physical meetings may be desired by all, we need to follow orders from the state government too.”