Congress corporators hauled up for bunking BMC meeting

Of a total of 52 corporators, only 10-12 show up for key general body meeting of BMC, leading Shiv Sena-BJP to win the vote on a proposal; Oppn leader Devendra Amberkar says he will send the absentees show-cause notices

The Opposition leader in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Congress’s Devendra Amberkar, has decided to crack the whip on truant corporators from his party who bunk general body meetings.

Attendance a must: Devendra Amberkar, Congress’s group leader in the BMC, says he will take up the issue of truancy with the Mumbai Congress president next week
Attendance a must: Devendra Amberkar, Congress’s group leader in the BMC, says he will take up the issue of truancy with the Mumbai Congress president next week

His decision comes after the absence of nearly 40 corporators at such a meeting yesterday led the Opposition in the BMC house to be outvoted with ease. At the civic general body meeting on Wednesday, a proposal to sanction promotions of officials of the sewerage department was put up by Mayor Snehal Ambekar for approval.

While the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP combine was of the view that the proposal should be passed, the opposing Congress-NCP contended that the vacant lower rungs of the department should be filled first. Congress corporator Pravin Chheda took a point of order on the issue, and was backed up by Amberkar, Mohsin Haider and another party corporator.

Seeing the divided opinion, the mayor put up the proposal to vote. But since only 10-12 of a total of 52 Congress corporators had actually shown up for the meeting, the odds were stacked against the party. Scraping together votes from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Opposition leader achieved a tally of 27.

The ruling alliance, on the other hand, was far ahead with 52 votes. And the proposal stood passed. Now, Amberkar, Congress group leader in the BMC house, has threatened to take the absent corporators to task. “I will send show-cause notices next week to those who were absent in the meeting.

This is not the first such occurrence, and this will not be tolerated. Each and every corporator will have to explain why he/she didn’t attend the meeting. If the explanations are unsatisfactory, we may take disciplinary action,” he said. The group leader added that he was aware how corporators merely sign the attendance register and leave without attending meetings.

“I came to know that many times corporators come to attend meetings but, after marking their presence in the attendance book, leave without attending. I will raise this issue with the Mumbai Congress president next week.” Corporator Mohsin Haider said though there was no party whip directive asking members to vote for or against an issue the presence of every councillor is expected when senior leaders are discussing an issue.

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