Maha Mayor takes orders  from ‘outside’: Oppn

Contrary to routine reaction, BJP stood by its alliance partner, issuing a statement in support of the Mayor

Mumbai : Alleging that Mayor Snehal Ambekar and Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray are involved in corruption that led to disproportionate allotment of Mayor’s funds to corporators, the opposition in the MCGM stormed out of the standing committee meeting on Wednesday. However, contrary to routine reaction, BJP stood by its alliance partner, issuing a statement in support of the Mayor.

Apart from being partial toward Sena corporators while allotting funds, the Mayor also faced flak over her statement defending this differential allocation. She reportedly said, “This allocation is as per orders given by my party chief, based on criteria defined by Sena chief.” Corporators accused Ambekar of being unaware of her duties for taking orders from ‘outside’, while Uddhav Thackeray was accused of having ‘vested interests’ in the money.

In reaction to the accusations, Sena defended the Mayor and Uddhav Thackeray. Leader of the House Trushna Vishwasrao said, “Our party leader can direct us. Neither did he ‘order’ us to do anything, nor did the mayor use that word. She was misquoted.” Vishwasrao assured that all funds will be used for the development of Mumbai, and that Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta has agreed to oversee the usage.

Meanwhile, Leader of the BJP, Manoj Kotak said, “We must respect the Mayor’s post. She is the ultimate authority regarding this fund.” Kotak also alleged that some letters from opposition party corporators may have reached the Mayor late, and she may not have been able to consider these demands while making the allocation.

Meanwhile, throughout the standing committee meeting, opposition corporators chanted slogans against the Mayor and Shiv Sena chief, refusing to participate in the meeting. Committee chairman Yashodhar Phanse passed all proposals without the opposition’s vote, in the midst of the commotion.

The opposition held out newspaper clippings reporting Tuesday’s event where the Mayor passed her personal budget of Rs 50 crore (for distribution among corporators for ward level development), despite allegations from the opposition for being partial toward Sena corporators.

Phanse said, “It is not correct to disrespect the party chief and Mayor. There is a procedure to express discontent or to raise an issue in the committee. A point of order could have been issued, instead of the sloganeering. It seemed like the opposition wanted to disrupt the meeting.”

Out of the Rs 50 crore allocated to the mayor for distribution among corporators, the mayor allotted Rs 35 crore to Shiv Sena, Rs 10 crore to BJP, Rs 2 crore to NCP, Rs 95 lakh to MNS, Rs 50 lakh to Samajwadi Party, and Rs 1.97 lakh to the Congress party corporators.

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