A day after high drama was witnessed at the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) General Body (GB) meeting on Tuesday, the standoff continues with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) corporators refusing to apologise to Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak. While on the other hand, PMC officials have decided to remain firm on their stand, stating that they will not attend any further GB meetings or any other committee meetings till they receive an apology from MNS leaders. PMC’s employee unions have also demanded suspension of the concerned MNS corporators.
On Tuesday, MNS corporators offered bangles to the PMC commissioner as a mark of protest against the civic body’s delay in action against NCP corporator Reshma Bhosale.
Following the incident, representatives of PMC’s five unions — Workers Union, Engineers Association, Employee Association, Officials Association and Doctor’s Association yesterday called a press conference to express their objections.
“The act of MNS was inappropriate and we strongly condemn that. Civic employees face tremendous pressure from corporators, and incidents of misbehaviour has been increasing in the last couple of years. Proper policies should be framed to avoid such indecent incidents. PMC officials will not attend any meeting till they get an apology from MNS. There will be no obstruction to routine work since it affects the city. But, we will boycott all meetings,” said Mukta Manohar, secretary, PMC employee union.
Retaliating to the PMC officials’ stir, MNS leader Vasant More said, “By not giving any response to our complaint, Municipal commissioner Mahesh Pathak has been mentally harassing us for the last year and a half. We are not guilty about the manner of protest in the GB meeting. We don’t care about PMC officials’ presence in these meetings because it does not make any difference. We have observed their casual attitude during the meetings. MNS is not going to convince them to attend the meeting.”
More also alleged that Pathak and all officials are intentionally postponing development work in MNS’s wards. “MNS corporators ward works get last priority,” he added.
Deputy Municipal Commissioner Rajendra Jagtap said, “PMC officials have been performing their duty impartially and it does not matter whether it is the work of ruling party or opposition party. If they [MNS] want, they can refer to last year’s budget. The issue raised by MNS in the GB meet was sub judice and the civic chief was not supposed make a comment. Despite this, MNS forced him to provide an explanation. We have demanded that the concerned MNS corporators be suspended for their behaviour.”