The stage is all set for elections to head the country’s richest civic body, its only 29 days left for civic body elections. Ten municipal corporations including Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Nagpur, 25 Zilla Parishads and 283 Panchayat Samitis are scheduled to go to polls next month. Over seven crore voters in major cities, and, vast rural stretches areas will elect 1,258 corporators, 1,558 members of district councils, and, 3,116 Panchayat Samiti members.
In this tussle, the Shiv Sena is giving out freebies to woo its voters from Thane. On Sunday while addressing a press conference, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, has promised many things to woo Thanekars. This comes after a day Congress and NCP declared its pre-poll alliance in Thane. Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane had initiated the pre-poll alliance with the NCP in Thane. Narayan Rane and Jeetendra Awhad of NCP at a meeting that took place at the former’s residence in Mumbai. NCP has 34 corporators, while Congress has 34 in the 130-member Thane Municipal Corporation.
Uddhav Thackeray has appreciated the love, and, long-standing relationship which Shiv Sena has received from Thanekars, since the times of late Balasaheb Thackeray. If Shiv Sena comes into power again they will relax the property tax norms.
Thackeray on Sunday promised voter in the TMC (Thane Municipal Corporation) sops like:
- Property exemptions for houses upto 500 square feet,
- Discount tax for houses of up to 700 sq ft in the municipal council limits of Thane and Ulhasnagar,
- Free travel for school children’s in BEST buses,
- A dam,
- International nature park
- A chowpatty of international standards
Thackeray said that the decision of giving property tax exemptions to people living in houses upto 500 square feet has received a good response, the houses above 500 to 700 square feet will get some tax concessions too. Those beyond 700 square feet will get concessions, if residents implement citizen-friendly schemes such as sanitation, rainwater harvesting and solar energy.
But the list of freebies doesn’t stop here, the further includes a central park on 30 acres of land at Kolshet, an chowpatty of international standard of Singapore’s Marina Bay at Kharegaon and dam for Thanekars to ease down their water problems. Thackeray also promised traders from Thane will get exemption from cleanliness tax and assured residents a large sports complex and stadium at Ghodbunder Road.
Uddhav Thackeray turning his focus back on Mumbai, said Sena will retain its control over BMC. Students in school uniform will be giving exempted from BEST bus fare. He said that on the same line all the school students in BMC areas would be given free BEST bus passes. The BEST employee’s old demand of insurance cover, the employees will be provided the insurance cover.
Shiv Sena will give out special healthcare facilities in the name late Balasaheb Thackeray would be extended in Thane and Ulhasnagar.
In order to woo the traders and business class, Thackeray said, Hotels, hospitals, convention and marriage halls have to pay dual tax for waste disposal which is implemented by corporation and also the property tax, Shiv Sena will get rid of dual tax. The party also highlighted on waterways to provide better transport facilities and ease problems faced by people living in satellite town Thane.
The Thane Municipal Corporation which was founded in 1982, since then Shiv Sena has dominated it. Mumbai and Thane both have been Shiv Sena’s mainstays, which Shiv Sena will guard with all its heart.
While addressing the media on seat sharing topic Thackeray refrained from commenting on it. He also mentioned that he haven’t received any proposal nor has BJP contacted him.
Shiv Sena’s side Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai, MLC Anil Parab and, former lesgislator Ravinder Mirlekar has been negotiating a seat sharing deal with BJP, but the deal is going nowhere. With BJP demanding 114 seat out of 227 seats in BMC. Shiv Sena is unwilling to give away that many seats, and, has given BJP an option of 60 seats, even lower than 63 that Shiv Sena had given to the BJP in 2012. BJP in retaliation calls this a grave insult.