Mayor Sunil Prabhu Tuesday suspended five corporators of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for a day for their “indisciplined behaviour”.
Congress corporators Waqarunnnisa Ansari, Pravin Chheda and Parul Mehta, along with Samajwadi Party corporator Noorjahan Rafiq and MNS group leader Sandip Deshpande, have been suspended under section 36(2) of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act of 1888 for blowing whistles and disrupting order at the civic general body meeting Tuesday.
During the meeting, corporators refused to discuss public grievances of Mumbai and instead demanded a probe into the alleged mental harassment of a Sena woman-corporator Sheetal Mhatre by Sena MLA Vinod Ghosalkar.
The corporators blew whistles in “protest” against the BMC’s ‘failure in sending strong message’ against Mhatre’s alleged harassment.
This is the third consecutive meeting in the new year in which corporators have refrained from discussing issues of public importance in the civic body.
Opposition leader Devendra Amberkar said, “We have accepted a model in which 50 per cent wards are reserved for women representatives. The women corporators are doing a good job. But like in case of Mhatre, some of them are being subjected to mental harassment. In this backdrop, we need to support Mhatre by expressing solidarity within the BMC House. But the ruling party fails to pick up the issue.”
He said that the five corporators’ suspension was uncalled for. “There are several instances when grave mistakes were committed by corporators inside House. But suspending members just for blowing whistle is totally unacceptable,” Amberkar said.
Prabhu, however, said his decision was inevitable. “Whatever the members did is not in line with the tradition of the House. I wanted to discuss crucial issues and warned the corporators against veering off-topic. Inspite of this, the opposition parties continued with ruckus. Hence, I had to suspend them for a day and adjourn the meeting,” the Mayor said.