A serious discussion on dengue and compensation for rape deteriorated into a childish scrape in the general body meeting of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation yesterday, after Independent corporator Jyoti Alavani and MNS group leader Sandeep Deshpande got into a verbal duel, disrupting the proceedings.
MNS’ Sandeep Deshpande and Independent Jyoti Alavani
The bickering came to rest only after Deshpande issued an apology. Around 4 pm, when the meeting kicked off, Opposition leader and Congress corporator Devendra Amberkar took up the issues of rising dengue cases and delay in the grant of financial aid to a Wadala rape victim.
Mid-discussion, Congress, NCP and MNS started sloganeering against the Shiv Sena-BJP’s civic rule and the BJP government in the state. During the fracas, Jyoti Alavani pointed out the MNS’s poor performance to Sandeep Deshpande, saying, “Look at yourself. There is doubt if you will win the next election.”
Infuriated at the slight, Deshpande retorted, “You won the election due to the name of your husband.” This provoked the BJP corporators to kick up a fuss, demanding an apology from Deshpande, or his suspension. “The statement made by Deshpande was completely disowned by women corporators present in the house.
I have been working for people for the last 12 years. He should apologise for his derogatory remarks or be suspended,” said Alavani, the wife of former BJP corporator Parag Alavani. She had won the Vile Parle (East) seat in 2012, contesting as an independent after the BJP had denied her a ticket.
Now, however, she is supporting the party in the corporation. “Do not blame the BJP government when it is the fault of the BMC. Because of this attitude, the MNS always lags behind,“ she added. The meeting was adjourned for some time, during which Alavani and other BJP corporators met Mayor Snehal Ambekar to take action against Deshpande.
However, after the house reconvened, Deshpande apologised in front of the house. “My intention was not to hurt the sentiments of any women in the house. If this has happened then I am sorry for that,” he said.