Mumbai: Congress mulls legal recourse against BMC ward reservation

Congress’ Ravi Raja alleged that BMC administrator didn’t follow due process so as to “finish” party

Staff ReporterUpdated: Thursday, June 02, 2022, 09:24 AM IST
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BMC | FPJ

Fearing that the Congress will become “irrelevant” in Mumbai after half of the civic wards were recently reserved for women, Congress leaders Milind Deora and Ravi Raja on Wednesday said that they are likely to move court against the BMC. Several Congress corporators lost their wards after the civic body held a draw on Tuesday and reserved 118 out of 236 seats for women. Of the remaining seats, 15 seats, including 8 for women, have been reserved for SCs, two for STs (one for women), while there is no OBC quota.

In the 2017 BMC polls, the Congress has won 29 seats and now it has suddenly lost 19 after the reservation. The wards of senior party corporators like Asif Zakaria, Sufiyan Vanu, Virendra Chaudhary and Vinit Dsouza have been reserved for women.

"After delimitations, the boundaries of the wards have been changed, so the process should have been fresh. But the BMC administrator, Iqbal Chahal, had done it purposely to finishthe Congress from Mumbai,” alleged Ravi Raja.

After filing suggestions and objections, the matter will be taken to court post consultation with the legal team and senior party leaders, he said. Raja, former opposition leader inthe BMC, represented ward number 182 in Sion, which has now been reserved for women.

So, he will have to hunt for a new ward to fight the upcoming BMC polls. Former Congress MP Milind Deora tweeted on Wednesday, saying that he is in favour of moving to court as the Congress is at risk of becoming irrelevant in Mumbai.

Asif Zakaria, another senior Congress corporator from Bandra said, "The BMC has used a preferential lottery system whereby a ward which had not been reserved for the previous elections has been reserved for women.

The rules state that all wards are to be treated as new wards and that the lottery has to be conducted afresh. So, this preferential system was not in tune with the law.”

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