Ahead of the much-delayed BMC elections, Deora said Congress should be ready to take on Shiv Sena that has been in power for over 30 years
Congress leader Milind Deora. File Pic
In what appears to be a fresh crack in the former ruling alliance in Maharashtra, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), Congress leader Milind Deora has pointed out misgovernance and corruption in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Ahead of the much-delayed BMC elections in Mumbai, Deora said Congress should be ready to take on Shiv Sena that has been in power for over 30 years.
Speaking to mid-day.com, Deora expressed displeasure on the workings of the BMC. “We know what the issues are in the Mumbai Municipal Corporation. There is misgovernance and corruption in BMC. This becomes more visible during the monsoon when we see flooding and the collapse of infrastructure. The city is certainly suffering as a result of that. Today, nobody knows the Mayor of Mumbai. So, where is the governance? Who is in charge? These are issues that the public must be aware of,” Deora opined.
While talking about delimitation and demarcation of ward boundaries in Mumbai, Deora alleged that it was done so that the Shiv Sena could benefit.
The former Mumbai Congress chief and MP had written to Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde urging him to scrap the delimitation and demarcation of ward boundaries in the city.
The Maharashtra government in December last year had notified the increase of nine seats in BMC, taking the total from 227 to 236 seats. And recently, the Maharashtra state election commission (SEC) released the list of revised boundaries for the 236 electoral wards ahead of the civic polls. Subsequently, in May this year a lottery of these 236 electoral wards was conducted to identify the wards to be reserved. The ward reservation exercise for the upcoming BMC elections was conducted in the presence of BMC administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal. Schoolchildren from BMC-run schools drew the lottery.
While talking about the letter to Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde, Deora said, “I am concerned about the ward issue, that I think not only affects my party but also the average voter of Mumbai. It deprives them of a free and fair election. The delimitation and demarcation of ward boundaries were done in a way only to benefit one party (Shiv Sena). It was not done in a democratic constitutional manner,” the Congress leader said.
He further said that the spirit of coalition Dharma has not been followed by the Shiv Sena. “How they redrew and reserved wards in Mumbai is unfortunate. Congress has to fight for space. Just because we have an alliance for the coalition doesn't mean we can allow them to walk over us,” Deora asserted.
“The exercise that was conducted was unfair, it was unconstitutional and undemocratic. Congress raised objections at the time. However, they were ignored by the Shiv Sena. That's why I wrote to the government that they should initiate a fresh process. They should constitute a committee represented by all political parties so that it is done fairly and democratically,” he told mid-day.com.
Deora emphasised on the need to build a strategy to expose the misgovernance of the BMC over the last 30 years. “The ward issue, the delimitation exercise... We must put pressure on the government. Knock on the doors of courts and ensure that the wards' current revision and delimitation are scrapped. And, ask for a fresh exercise that is conducted transparently, freely and fairly," he concluded.
On Wednesday, Deora wrote to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to scrap the delimitation and demarcation of ward boundaries in Mumbai, alleging that it was done to benefit only the Shiv Sena.
The former Mumbai Congress chief and MP wrote to the chief minister seeking urgent intervention on behalf of Congress councillors "whose wards have been manipulated to benefit one party".
He urged Shinde to scrap the BMC's current delimitation, demarcation and reservation and re-initiate the process in a transparent manner.