Mumbai: Re-open discussion on open space policy in general assembly, demands BJP

The infighting between the saffron allies went one step ahead on Saturday when the BJP demanded that the RG/PG policy be re-opened for discussion in the general assembly. This, after the Maharashtra CM had already directed the municipal commissioner to review the policy. The BJP is trying to paint Shiv Sena as the villain here, since it was the Sena that had been supporting the policy from the beginning.

BJP corporator and MLA Ameet Satam took a press conference on Saturday where he put forth the demand. He said that since he could not attend the event he has written to the municipal secretary to allow a re-discussion on the proposal. “I have demanded a re-discussion to ensure that open spaces remain open to the public forever and not be taken over by land sharks,” Satam said in a statement released later.

Corporators have the right to ask for a re-discussion on issues if they were absent for a certain meeting. However, as per rules, the re-discussion can only happen after three months.

“We have demanded a re-opening of the policy. Besides, we have also secured a review. I think the policy is on stand-by until the review is done. I hope the Sena supports us,” said BJP corporator Manoj Kotak.

But, Sena counterpart Yashodhar Phanse was more blunt. “The policy is anyways going to be reviewed in the Assembly soon. If Ameet Satam thought the policy was flawed, as an MLA, he could have challenged it there. I think he doesn’t want discussion in the Assembly.”

Phanse further said that BJP corporators actively supported the policy in the House when it was put to vote. “This is the reason their credibility is going down. Besides, the CM has not ordered anything new in ordering that the plots be taken back. That would have happened anyway. What new has the CM said?”

Meanwhile, the Congress got an opportunity to slam the saffron combine. Congress corporator Asif Zakaria said, “They are a confused lot. The BJP is playing to the galleries it seems. There was similar uproar about the draft DP and there was an announcement that it will be scrapped. What happened? It is coming back with just minor changes. The two parties have differences amongst themselves and are holding the city to ransom because of that.”

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