In a major setback to the Shiv Sena and more precisely to the Eknath Shinde-led urban development department (UDD), the Bombay High Court has given its green signal to the appointment of four co-opted members in the BJP-led Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC).
Notably, three out of the four members represent the BJP and one is from the Congress. The orders directing the MBMC to validate the process through gazette notification within four days, has left the Sena sulking as their lone aspirant has been denied access to the general body house.
While resolutions mooting names of BJP candidates Anil Bhosale, Bhagwati Sharma, Ajit Patil and Adv. S.A Khan (Congress) had cleared the decks in the meeting held via video conferencing in December 2020, the candidature of Shiv Sena’s Vikram Pratap Singh hit the roadblock due to objections by the BJP members alleging charges of conflict of interest.
However, the state government’s UDD had put on hold the nominations and the formation of various committees. “At least now the Shiv Sena should accept its defeat at the hands of BJP instead of living in a world illusion,” said House leader Prashant Dalvi (BJP).
Government guidelines issued in 2012, clearly states that people aspiring for co-opted seats should be non-political individuals having two years’ experience as commissioner, five years as assistant commissioner, five years’ experience of a social organization or should be lawyers, engineers, experts or doctors.
However, it has been alleged that rules were brazenly bent in the general body meeting to offer backdoor entries to office bearers of local political parties, self-styled politicians owing their loyalties to the ruling governance.
More than three years 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 will finally take shape after rounds of controversy and judicial knots. Although co-opted members do not have voting rights, they can participate in debates and raise issues in the civic house.