In a first, NCP walks out of meeting
The ruling party in the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), walked out of the standing committee meeting on Wednesday.
The reason: they objected to the manner in which standing committee chairman Shivram Patil of the Shiv Sena conducted the meeting.
The first meeting chaired by the newly elected Patil turned out to be full of fireworks as he and Shiv Sena corporator MK Madhvi tore into the NCP by raking up alleged irregularities that they claimed had been committed by the administration, at the behest of the leaders of the ruling party over the years.
With the power of conducting the meeting in the hands of the Shiv Sena, the NCP could offer little resistance. Barring house leader Jaywant Sutar, there was no counter to the barrage by the Shiv Sena.
The meeting itself started on a controversial note with Patil declaring that newly elected NCP member Prakash More, who was barred by the presiding officer from voting in the standing committee election could not participate in the proceedings of the standing committee meeting. More has moved court and asked for cancellation of the standing committee election. The court refused to give him a stay on Tuesday.
Patil said, “The issue of election of More is sub judice and so he cannot be allowed to take part in the meeting.”
He said, “Another NCP member Vinod Mhatre has gone to court on the validity of the general body meeting in which More was nominated. It was held despite orders by the chief minister not to.”
The announcement led to Sutar objecting and claiming that Patil did not have any right to take such a decision.
Sutar also objected to inclusion of two proposals pertaining to sonography facility at NMMC hospital and contract for treatment of garbage at Turbhe landfill site.
Sutar said, “These have come at the last moment and we have not had time to study it, so it should not be taken today.”
Shiv Sena corporator MK Madhvi insisted that delaying them would affect the services to the residents of the city.
Patil then put the issue to vote.
While all eight NCP members voted for non-inclusion of the proposals and the other eight opposition members voted for it, Patil announced that eight had voted for the resolution while seven had voted against it.
He didn’t take More’s vote into account.
This enraged the NCP and heated exchanges ensued. More repeatedly asked to be allowed to speak but was denied permission by Patil.
Shiv Sena corporator MK Madhvi, while speaking on a proposal for acquisition for equipment for NMMC hospital, listed various alleged corrupt activities and illegalities committed over the years.
He raised the issue of delay in the opening of the new hospitals that have been in the making for the past four years, FACC ambulance and several other issues.
Madhvi claimed that the officials had taken wrong decisions at the behest of the ruling party. He also demanded suspension of former additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Pattiwar and an inquiry into the working of health department to unearth the truth.
Sutar again repeatedly objected to the allegations claiming that they were not related to the proposal. With the chairman not ready to stop Madhvi and preventing Sutar from speaking, he led a walk out of the meeting along with the other NCP members raising slogans against the chairman.
The meeting then continued with proposals being passed and discussions.
Madhvi said, “For years, the opposition had been silenced by the NCP. We now finally have an opportunity to raise our voice for the people of the city. We also have a municipal commissioner who is ready to take action where a wrong has been committed. We will make sure that democracy truly works now.”
He added, “The NCP is not used to seeing the opposition speak and hence they walked out.”