After a brief tug-of-war between former legislator Narendra Mehta (BJP) and independent MLA Geeta Jain (who is also a BJP corporator), the ruling BJP is staring at yet another power war in the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC). This time Geeta Jain has been replaced by city BJP chief, Hemant Mhatre in the perception battle of who controls the civic body.
Despite tasting defeat at the hands of rebel candidate Geeta Jain in the assembly polls, last year, Mehta maintained his dominance over the MBMC. Although he surprised everyone including his party cadre by taking political "sanyas" (retirement) in February, this year, his interference in the civic affairs continued unabated.
This was evident as the former MLA, doled out instructions and advisories to corporators and civic officials. Toeing similar lines, a pre-general body meet for corporators was scheduled at a hotel in Mira Road on Sunday. Miffed at not being kept in the loop, Hemant Mhatre abruptly rescheduled the date and venue of the meeting in which just 30 out of the 61 members registered their presence on Monday.
“Yes, Sunday’s meeting was cancelled by me. In a big family minor differences are inevitable, but there is nothing such as a rift in the party. Most corporators attended the meeting, those who could not, gave valid reasons for their absence.” said Mhatre.
After an apparent damage control bid by senior BJP leader Ravindra Chavhan who met corporators on Tuesday, Mehta echoed similar views. “There were some minor issues which have been resolved. The party stands united.” he said.
Though party workers agree that the BJP has grown in the city under Mehta’s leadership, several heavyweight corporators and a section of old guards and die hard party loyalists were unhappy with his autocratic style of functioning. Meanwhile a ruckus between corporators was reported at BJP's meeting at Maheshwari Hall in Bhayandar on Tuesday.