After 2 corporators call NCP city chief's no-construction stand anti-party, insiders say they are opposing her for financial, political gains
Sources close to NCP city unit chief and MLC Vandana Chavan say her stand on not allowing any construction at biodiversity parks (BDPs) was being termed anti-party by two NCP corporators because of vested interests. Earlier, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said that 4 per cent construction would be allowed in BDPs. Vandana Chavan courted controversy after she publicly opposed any construction in BDPs, after which she was slammed by two corporators who alleged she was taking anti-party stand on the issue.
Standing her ground: MLC Vandana Chavan. Pic/Krunal Gosavi
It was purported that the top brass from NCP would take action against Vandana Chavan, but when MiD DAY probed the matter, it was revealed that only two corporators were unhappy with the city unit chief and allegedly because one had construction interest and the other was unhappy with supremacy of women. "The two leaders were very rowdy in the meeting of corporators held a couple of days ago while discussing the whole issue with her (Vandana Chavan)," said a source.
Sources said Dilip Barate had a construction interest in BDPs, while Subhash Jagtap was allegedly unhappy with women becoming powerful in NCP. It was decided on October 31 at a Congress party workers' meeting by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan that 4 per cent construction be allowed in BDPs. The decision was also supported by the NCP.
Since then, NGOs have been opposing the proposal and Vandana Chavan also supported them. Reportedly, she also made a statement appealing to the citizens not to vote in the civic polls for those who were supporting this proposal. Vandana Chavan later clarified that she had made no such appeal and these statements were made by some NGOs.
Sources said the two leaders were not in any mood to listen to her. "Vandana Chavan will not compromise on her stand about the whole issue for anyone in the party and she is being supported by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar," said a source. Sources said that when a poll was conducted on the issue, majority of the votes were in favour of not allowing construction in BDPs. After realising this, most of the corporators supported 'no construction' in BDPs, said sources.
A source said that even after that Jagtap had questioned the idea of conducting a poll. The source also said though party leaders were not happy with Jagtap's behaviour, they tolerated him because he was one of the few senior faces in the party representing the Scheduled Castes. Both Barate and Jagtap said they would continue to oppose Vandana Chavan as they felt the empty land would be encroached upon with illegal slums. Barate said Chavan always tried to thrust her opinion on other party workers.
No crying matter NCP insiders denied reports circulated by the media about Chavan crying in a meeting of the corporators.