Pol­icy on hold as BJP won’t back Shiv Sena

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - San­jana Bhalerao san­jana.bhalerao1@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: The new, con­tro­ver­sial open spa­ces pol­icy that cit­i­zens feared would re­duce their ac­cess to Mum­bai’s open spa­ces was not tabled in Wed­nes­day’s gen­eral body meet­ing as sched­uled.

The Shiv Sena, the rul­ing party in the Brin­han­mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (BMC), took a step back, af­ter its ally, the BJP, said a day ear­lier the pol­icy should not be ap­proved in its cur­rent form, while call­ing for a de­bate.

Un­til Tues­day, the BJP was in favour of the new pol­icy, and had even helped the Sena get it ap­proved in the civic im­prove­ments com­mit­tee meet­ing last week. Op­po­si­tion par­ties had voted against the pol­icy.

But on Tues­day, Mum­bai BJP chief Ashish She­lar backed the de­mands of cit­i­zen groups and activists and asked for the pol­icy to be sent back to the im­prove­ments com­mit­tee.

The Hin­dus­tan Times, along with cit­i­zen groups, has been con­tin­u­ously cam­paign­ing against malpractices in the name of pro­tect­ing open spa­ces in the city.

The Sena, with its 75 mem­bers in the 227-strong house, re­alised that with­out BJP’s sup­port, and with op­po­si­tion par­ties de­mand­ing scrap­ping the pol­icy, it was un­likely to get ap­proved on Wed­nes­day. The pol­icy is likely to be tabled next month.

Cit­i­zens have been up in arms as the new pol­icy, while do­ing away with the care­taker clause — ear­lier mis­used by pri­vate or­gan­i­sa­tions to re­strict pub­lic en­try — said plots given on care­taker ba­sis since 1991 will re­main with them.

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