Mumbai: Maharashtra Congress has demanded "immediate resignation" of Mumbai mayor and Shiv Sena leader Snehal Ambekar over the fire at the Deonar dumping ground.
"While Mumbai was grappling with a catastrophic tragedy, the Mayor (Ambekar) was busy blowing up tax payers money on a junket. This is the height of irresponsibility, after the citizens were already a victim of mis-governance and corruption of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC),"
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Al-Nasser Zakaria said. "We demand that she (Ambekar) should step down from the Mayor's post claiming moral responsibility for not being there when Mumbaikars were suffering due to the ill-effects of smog caused by the Deonar fire incident," he said.
"Ambekar's term as Mumbai Mayor is the one loaded with mis-governance and corruption," he alleged. Meanwhile, Yashodhar Phanse, Shiv Sena corporator and BMC's standing committee chairman termed the Congress demanding mayor's resignation as a "publicity stunt".
He demanded that the Congress corporators should instead resign for not visiting the dumping ground even when they were in the city. "Our trip (to Andaman-Nicobar) was pre-planned. But, as soon as the mayor and (Shiv) Sena corporators came back from the trip, we were on the ground helping people.
"But, the Opposition was not a part of the trip. They should answer why did they not visit the site and help people instead of indulging in publicity stunts? We want the Congress corporators to resign for being insensitive towards the plight of the people," Phanse said.
Eleven corporators from the BMC's Standing Committee and 22 from the the Public Works Committee along with the Mayor had been on an all-expenses-paid tour, from January 28 to February 1 to the Andaman Nicobar islands to 'study their water-storage facilities and drainage system'.
Parts of the megapolis have been engulfed in a thick blanket of smog since Thursday due to the fire and other reasons, including a drop in temperature and vehicular pollution. Power is shared by the Shiv Sena and BJP in the Mumbai civic body.