Shinde camp vs Thackeray faction: CM orders probe by Anti Corruption Bureau in delimitation of BMC wards

This is a major blow to Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aaditya Thackeray as the Shinde camp during the debate without naming them had targeted them ahead of the upcoming BMC elections.

Sanjay JogUpdated: Wednesday, August 24, 2022, 11:35 PM IST
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Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde | Photo: ANI

To clearly corner his former boss Uddhav Thackeray, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, on Wednesday, announced that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) will conduct an inquiry into the delimitation of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) wards. The exercise was notably undertaken by the former Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government when Shinde himself was a part of it.

In response to the demand raised by several MLAs, Shinde said that the ACB will probe the manner in which the process to alter the ward boundaries was completed.

Political observers said this is a major blow to Uddhav and his son Aaditya as the Shinde camp, without naming them, has been targeting them ahead of the upcoming BMC elections.

Shinde, however, clarified that it’s not a revenge action, adding that “the guilty will not be shielded”. He said, “The exercise was wrong. It would have been appropriate to increase the number of wards after the completion of the 2021 census,” he said, informing that 892 complaints were filed against the revision.

Shinde said the census is carried out every 10 years, followed by an appropriate revision in the number of wards. “It’s an anomaly that six wards were increased for 20 per cent population and nine wards for 3.8 per cent population,” he said, denying the charge of haste by Aaditya when the Supreme Court has ordered a status quo.

The CM said that the apex court has not stayed the ordinance issued by the state government proposing reduction in BMC wards to 227 from 236. “The allegation is based on wrong information. The confusion arose because the lawyers did not provide proper information. We will not take any decision against the law,” he added.

Sada Sarvankar, a legislator from the Shinde camp, alleged irregularities in the delimitation exercise by citing an example from his Dadar assembly seat. He said that some wards were transferred to the Worli assembly segment, which is represented by Aaditya Thackeray. Besides, Samajwadi Party legislator Rais Sheikh, BJP MLA Amit Satam and the Congress, too, had objected to new ward boundaries.

Meanwhile, the opposition reminded Shinde that he had moved the Bill proposing the increase in BMC wards as the urban development minister in the MVA government. In response to the question as to what has changed since then, he said, “Critical decisions are a collective responsibility. So what is wrong has to be corrected. Some opposition members also have grievances but they cannot speak.”

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