MP appears for BMC meeting after 7 months to prevent disqualification!

Rahul Shewale, also a member of the BMC’s standing committee, turned up for a committee meeting yesterday after he was informed his membership would be scrapped if his absence continued beyond 8 months

The duties of a Member of Parliament no doubt leave very little time for Rahul Shewale (Mumbai South Central MP) to attend to much else, but even with his busy schedule, he seems keen to maintain his hold as a member of the BMC’s standing committee.

Shiv Sena corporator Rahul Shewale won the Mumbai South Central Lok Sabha seat by a margin of 1.38 lakh votes, defeating sitting Congress MP Eknath Gaikwad
Shiv Sena corporator Rahul Shewale won the Mumbai South Central Lok Sabha seat by a margin of 1.38 lakh votes, defeating sitting Congress MP Eknath Gaikwad

For, he did not fail to turn up for a meeting yesterday, after the committee issued him a reminder notice following failure to attend meetings in the past seven months. The MP would have faced disqualification soon, as according to the law, members cannot miss meetings for more than eight months.

The standing committee meets once a week to discuss all major proposals and projects floated by the corporation. Every proposal with a budget of more than Rs 10 lakh has to get clearance from the committee.

Shewale, a former chairman of the committee for three consecutive terms (2011 to 2013), has been absent since April, and missed 20-odd committee meetings and 30-odd general body meetings.

After the civic body sent him the notice, however, he showed up for Wednesday’s meeting right on cue. Members of the standing committee can opt out of a meeting by intimating the chairman. But according to Section 46 A of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888, notwithstanding prior intimation, if a member misses meetings for eight months, he is automatically disqualified.

While Shewale had not yet crossed the eight-month mark, Municipal Secretary Narayan Pathade sent him a reminder to notify him of the law. “It was just an intimation letter that stated that he has not attended meetings and that the law can disqualify his membership if he is absent for eight months or more.

As he attended the meeting on Wednesday, there is no question of his disqualification now,” said Pathade. Shewale was unavailable for comment when this newspaper attempted to contact him.

Another missing act
Just like MP Rahul Shewale is a city corporator, BMC has five MLAs who are councillors. Amongst them is Ameet Satam, who is also a member of the civic standing committee. He has been missing meetings for over two months, but the municipal secretary’s office claims that his intimations have reached the committee, and as the period of his absence is shorter, no reminder notice has been issued to him yet.

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