Unperturbed by the pressure created by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS),Mayor Vaishali Bankar on Thursday appointed Congress leader Arvind Shinde as the leader of opposition replacing MNS leader Vasant More. Congress had staked claim to the post pointing out to reduced strength of MNS after its corporators were disqualified.
In 2012 civic polls,NCP had emerged as a single largest party in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) with MNS finishing second. The NCP with the support of Congress managed to bag the post of Mayor while MNS had to suffice with the post of leader of opposition. However,the disqualification of MNS corporators brought its strength below that of Congress.
Taking advantage of the situation,Congress immediately laid a claim to the post and recommended Shinde for the job. However,MNS urged the Mayor to retain More for the post as MNS was the leading opposition party while the Congress was in ruling alliance and had voted for NCP during the election to the post of Mayor.
I have appointed Shinde as leader of opposition using powers vested in Mayor. The decision was taken after consulting the legal department of the PMC, said Bankar.
Meanwhile,MNS led by More,tried to disrupt the proceedings of the general body over the Mayors decision. The Mayor turned down their demand of reinstating More as the leader of opposition.
The development in the PMC holds importance with the state assembly and Lok Sabha elections around the corner.
Draft DP: 3 ruling alliance members on planning panel
The ruling NCP-Congress managed to get three of its members nominated to the planning committee that would conduct a public hearing on suggestions and objections by citizens to finalise the draft Development Plan. MNS,Shiv Sena and BJP failed to push their members through as they could not muster enough votes in the general body.
The planning committee consists of seven members,including three from the PMC standing committee and four from other agencies. The three standing committee members are nominated by the general body.
While NCP proposed Chetan Tupe and Vishal Tambe to be nominated to the panel,the Congress recommended Abhay Chhajed. The opposition parties MNS,BJP and Shiv Sena recommend three members,one each from their parties. The general body voted in favour of the ruling NCP-Congress to get their members nominated on the committee.
Earlier last year,NCP and Congress had locked horns over the post of chairperson of city improvement committee as the draft DP for the old city was tabled in the committee. The NCP had managed to bag the post to ensure its influence on the DP.
Criticizing the ruling alliance,opposition parties said that one seat should have been allotted to opposition in the interest of the city. To nominate members of only ruling alliance to the crucial committee will send a wrong message in public, said BJP leader Ashok Yenpure. The opposition also tabled a resolution condemning the water remark made by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. They staged a walk out after it was not considered.