Uddhav Thackeray pulls up corporators for seeking toll exemption for themselves

Days after the BMC passed amotion seeking exemption for corporators from paying tolls throughout the state, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has pulled up ‘greedy’ corporators for raising and supporting such a demand. Uddhav, it is learnt, has sought explanations from Sena’s leader in the BMC Yashwant Jadhav and Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar over the issue and has also enquired for ways to withdraw the motion, which experts feel is impossible.

“Uddhavji was very upset since such a demand shows the party in poor light. He pulled up the Sena’s leader of the house and the Mayor for allowing such a motion to be passed. He feels they should have demanded toll exemption for the common man instead of themselves,” said a senior Sena functionary.

The toll-waiver demand was raised by Sena corporator Tukaram Patil who argued that corporators are forced to “visit projects in other cities” to “provide amenities to Mumbaikars” and cannot be expected to shell out the money from their own pockets. Currently, BMC corporators are exempted from paying toll while taking the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. MLAs and MPs are however exempt from paying toll across the state.

While Sena leaders never objected to the motion in the BMC, following Uddhav’s missive, the corporators put the blame on Patil and have sought to distance themselves from it. “This demand was made by Tukaram Patil in his personal capacity and it is not the party’s stand. We don’t support the demand in anyway. Since the motion has been passed, it cannot be withdrawn. We are exploring what else can be done,” said Yashwant Jadhav, Shiv Sena leader in the BMC.

However, BMC officials have claimed that the motion can’t be withdrawn as it has already moved on from the hands of the civic body. The motion will now go to municipal commissioner’s office for his opinion and then to the state government’s urban development department for final approval, said an official.