Opposition members in BMC protest against mayor, Shiv Sena

Members of the Opposition party of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Standing Committee staged a protest outside the mayor’s office in the civic headquarters on Wednesday, taking objection to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray “interfering” in civic matters. The members even went to different civic departments in the building and raised slogans against mayor Snehal Ambekar and Sena.

This year, Thackeray decided how much will be allotted to each party from the mayor’s fund. Usually, it is the mayor’s prerogative and privilege to distribute the development fund.

Earlier, the protesters did not allow the Standing Committee chairman to conduct the committee meeting, and created a ruckus in the meeting hall.

Leader of Opposition in the BMC, Pravin Chheda, said Thackeray interfering in BMC matters was unacceptable. “We have been given such a small amount and they have kept the major share. As mayor, she (Ambekar) should have treated all parties and corporators at par. She should think about the city and not her party,” he said, adding that 2017 being the election year, the Mayor was using her power to keep maximum funds for her party corporators.

Samajwadi Party leader in BMC, Rais Shaikh, said, “Mayor is the first citizen of Mumbai and Thackeray is giving her instructions on how to allocate the development fund. It is indeed a shameful thing to happen. The mayor has tarnished her own image by allowing this to happen. She has accepted this herself. Distribution of funds should have been equal. I had complained that there was lobbying for funds last year as well. But nothing was done to rectify the problem.”

House leaders defend mayor

A day after mayor Snehal Ambekar revealed that Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray guided her regarding allocation of the development fund, Leader of the House Trushna Vishwasrao and chairman of the Standing Committee Yashodhar Phanse tried hard to cover for the mayor. Ambekar, however, remained absent on Wednesday. Sources claimed she was given a “piece of advice by senior leaders and asked not to attend her office”.