BJP passes no-confidence motion against Panvel civic chief without any discussion

Opposition kicks up fuss, calls move undemocratic; residents start campaigning for Sudhakar Shinde

mumbai Updated: Mar 26, 2018 14:46 IST
G. Mohiuddin Jeddy
G. Mohiuddin Jeddy
Hindustan Times
Sudhakar Shinde,Panvel City Municipal Corporation,Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis
Sudhakar Shinde (HT File Photo)

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (NJP) in Panvel City Municipal Corporation (PCMC) passed a no-confidence motion against municipal commissioner Sudhakar Shinde on Monday, without any discussion.

The Opposition Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) has protested the move, claiming that it is undemocratic.

Who is Sudhakar Shinde?
  • A 2007-batch IRS officer, Sudhakar Shinde is the first commissioner of the newly founded Panvel Municipal Corporation, and was appointed on October 1, 2016.
  • After five-and-a-half months in office, he was abruptly transferred on March 15, 2017, after the election commission order as he is the brother of Maharashtra water conservation minister Ram Shinde.
  • At the time, it was alleged that Shinde’s decisions undermined the interests of some BJP leaders.
  • Residents started signature campaigns and online petitions and held indefinite fast. During his stint, he had brought about drastic changes in a region plagued with encroachments, illegal constructions, unhygienic conditions and poor civic amenities.
  • He was reinstated on May 30, 2017, after the civic polls.
  • Now, once again, locals have started campaigns in his support.

Local BJP leaders have been seeking Shinde’s ouster for the past few months, and have been putting pressure at Mantralaya and campaigning with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to get Shinde transferred.

Last week, the party passed a resolution in the general body meeting demanding that a case be registered against him under the Atrocities Act for failure to use funds for the backward classes.

On Monday, at the special general body meeting, leader of the House Paresh Thakur introduced the no-confidence motion at 11am, when Opposition members had not yet reached.

Thakur read from a prepared statement, which said that Shinde was proving to be an obstacle in Panvel’s development, so a no-confidence motion was being tabled against him.

Soon after, Opposition members marched in, raising slogans and demanding a detailed discussion on the motion. As corporators on both sides got into a verbal spat, mayor Kavita Chautmal put the motion to vote, which led to further chaos.

Chautmal then declared that the motion had been passed, with 50 members voting for it and 22 against it, in the 78-member House, which has four nominated members who don’t have voting rights. The BJP’s strength in the House is 51.

Shinde has received considerable support from residents of Panvel for his crackdown on illegal constructions and his action against illegal hawkers, which has helped free up footpaths, as well as other drives aimed at improving living conditions in Panvel. Local residents have been holding public meetings and signature campaigns, declaring their support for him.

Last year, just before the civic elections, Shinde was transferred abruptly, but the state government was forced to bring him back as Panvel’s municipal commissioner because of public pressure.

First Published: Mar 26, 2018 14:46 IST