Opposition slams move, says this is attempt by state govt to take over the civic body
The office (on the right) with Guardian Minister Mangalprabhat Lodha’s nameplate at BMC HQ. Pic/Ashish Raje
In A first, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has allotted an office to the Guardian Minister in its headquarters. The Opposition has slammed the civic administrator and state government over this decision. Mangalprabhat Lodha, guardian minister for the suburbs, has said the office will be used during disaster situations for coordination between agencies and citizens.
The BMC has allotted the office to Lodha on the second floor of the heritage building. Former group leader of NCP, Rakhi Jadhav, said the BJP is a trend setter in different kinds of politics, which Maharashtra and Mumbai have never seen. “The Guardian Minister was given the office because the state government probably felt that the municipal commissioner had failed as an administrator. Now it’s clear that BJP wants to run the civic authority from Mantralaya, that’s why the election is being delayed,” Jadhav said further.
“This is strange. They must have felt that no judicial system or law is applicable to them. This is a form of creating their own princely state by avoiding elections. The Guardian Minister has his own chamber in Mantralaya, why does he need an office in the BMC head office? The state government has decided to eliminate the fixed deposits of BMC,” said UBT Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjana Ghadi.
Ravi Raja, former opposition leader of BMC, also slammed the move. “BJP is creating history by breaking rules, laws, customs and traditions. This is the first time in history that a Guardian Minister is getting an office in the BMC head office. Till now, the administration of BMC was run from Mantralaya. Now, a mini-Mantralaya has been set up in the BMC head office,” he said.
“Any local body is an autonomous body. But the state government has now taken over the BMC,” said SP MLA and former BMC group leader Rais Sheikh.
“In the monsoon, there is a fear of disasters. In such a situation, this office will help for coordination between citizens and authorities. We will use this office even after monsoon during a disaster emergency,” said Lodha.