The BJP has moved a ‘no-confidence’ motion against Mayor and Shiv Sena leader Kishori Pednekar alleging “irregularities and corruption" in the working of the corporation under her leadership. The BJP leaders in the civic body have also cited BMC's "failure" to contain coronavirus cases. “We had requested for an emergency general body meeting under section 36 (H) of Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888, to move a no-confidence motion against the mayor, ” said Vinod Mishra, BJP group leader in BMC said.
Mishra added: "There have been instances of corruption and irregularities in every new contract since the pandemic hit. Whether it was food packages, medicine, maintenance of jumbo facilities or even dead body bags. Mayor's bungalow too has irregularities. It is two bungalows merged into one and no amalgamation done on papers. This has been on record that Sena leaders are vindictive and act against those who speak up against them under the garb of BMC. We will now expose every Shiv Sena leader and BMC offices involved in neglecting or covering up illegal structures."
Pednekar, however, has denied all the allegations and sought proof from the BJP. She said that the city earned the praise of WHO for its efforts to tackle the pandemic in congested areas. She pointed out that BMC’s ‘Chase the Virus’ campaign has been adopted by the Philippines too.
“There was a shortage of oxygen and ICU beds during the initial stage when the pandemic hit, a problem that was later addressed. In many cases then, patients reached hospital only after their condition deteriorated. What can BMC do at that stage? We set up jumbo Covid care facilities with oxygen and ICU beds on a war footing to increase the number of beds as the number of cases started increasing. Steadily, the situation improved across the city. There are certain areas which need focus, but as of today situation is under control," she said.
Pednekar added that BJP should prove their allegations of corruption and irregularity. “BMC works according to stipulated guidelines framed by state and Central government agencies. During a pandemic, the administration has the right to use / divert funds as per priority and where it is needed the most. We purchased several items about which we did not have much knowledge. There was a shortage of PPEs, and we needed the kits at the earliest and had to buy at whatever rates . We have a team of nine doctors (Task force) who take decisions on purchase of these items. We are doing our best. People of Mumbai, Maharashtra will decide if we have done well or not. It may have happened that the corporation paid on the slightly higher side. But that is not corruption or irregularity. Unlike others we are not worried about elections. Our prime focus has been and will always be towards protection of people and their welfare.”
On Thursday, Pednekar informed Twitter that she tested positive for Covid-19 and is asymptomatic.