The waiting game for the BJP and Congress aspirants seeking nominations as co-opted members in the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) ended on Monday even as the fate of Shiv Sena’s candidate continues to hang in balance.
While resolutions mooting names of BJP candidates Anil Bhosale, Bhagwati Sharma, Ajit Patil and Adv. S.A Khan (Congress) cleared the decks in the general body meeting held via video conferencing on Monday, the candidature of Shiv Sena’s Vikram Pratap Singh hit the roadblock due to alleged charges of conflict of interest.
While Anil Bhosale had grabbed the headlines for allegedly facilitating a ‘Gatari’ blast for his party workers in the premises of a civic school in Kashimira last year, Bhagwati Sharma is a NCP turncoat. Ajit Patil is a former MBMC official who had landed in ACB net nearly two decades ago.
“The general body has approved candidatures of contenders, but the process will be valid only after the gazette notification,” said a MBMC officer.
Although co-opted members do not have voting rights, they can participate in debates and raise issues in the civic house. Nearly 33 months after the BJP took over reins of the MBMC by claiming majority in the August 2017 civic polls, the process for nominating co-opted members finally took shape amid controversy and judicial knots.
Members are co-opted according to the strength of each party in the house. Among the five members to be co-opted, BJP which won 61 out of the 95 seats nominated three members followed by one each from the Shiv Sena and the Congress.
Applications were sought in February this year. However, the pandemic-induced lockdown imposed in March further delayed the process. After scrutiny, the names of the shortlisted candidates were tabled before the general body for final approval. The new norms issued by the urban development department in 2012, clearly states that people aspiring for co-opted seats should have two years' experience as commissioner, five years as assistant commissioner, five years’ experience of a social organisation, or should be lawyers, engineers or doctors. However it has become a traditional ritual for parties to nominate politicians, mainly those defeated at the hustings, as a rehabilitation gesture.