Shiv Sena, the ruling party in the Thane Municipal Corporation, and Municipal Commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal are at loggerheads over the nomination of five co-opted corporators. After Mayor Meenakshi Shinde read out the names of the co-opted corporators at the general body meeting last week, Jaiswal wrote to Shinde objecting to the names and stating that the selection process had been completed without his recommendations. He termed the selection ‘illegal’.
Civic officials said Shinde had announced the names of the co-opted members according to a list submitted by party leaders at the general body meeting. “As per the procedure, the names should be recommended by the civic chief. These co-opted members are supposed to have expertise in certain areas, including working with non-governmental organisations. As these names did not meet such criteria, the municipal commissioner did not recommend those to the general body for approval,” said an official.
He added it was illegal to nominate co-opted members without following the due procedure. Of the five co-opted corporators named, three belong to the Sena and one each are from the BJP and the NCP. Based on the number of corporators a party has, each can recommend names of co-opted members, added the official.
Confirming that he had sent a letter to the mayor on the subject, Jaiswal told The Indian Express: “This requires my recommendation. So, I wrote to the mayor raising the issue.”
However, Shinde has said she did not announce the selection of candidates but merely read out the names in the House. “Stating that there is no recommendation from the civic chief, I read out the names given to the me by party leaders. I did not announce their selection. We know the rules, too, and won’t do anything without following those. I just need to show the minutes of the meetings to the civic chief,” she claimed.
The escalating tension between the Sena and the civic chief in Thane comes at a time the Sena has opposed a road widening plan in Wagle Estate area, sources said.
“The Sena has opposed a road widening plan saying that the affected families should be rehabilitated first. The families are being termed illegal despite staying there for more than four decades. Besides, the state government has taken a policy decision to make illegal structures built till December 2015 legal. Then how can the civic chief deny them rehabilitation?” asked a Sena leader.