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The infighting among the BJP municipal corporators came to the fore on Friday when 26 of its 80 councillors in Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) gave a memorandum to Municipal Commissioner Milind Torawane, seeking complete demolition of the “illegally constructed” BJP corporator Ravindra Patil’s office in Shivajinagar area of Limbayat.
The municipal corporation officials, on directions of Torawane, had razed parts of the two-storey building in Limbayat on August 22 after receiving a complaint on the ground that no clearance had been sought for the construction.
Torawane said that the demolition could not be completed as a large number of people gathered on the spot and the SMC had limited staff.
On Wednesday, Patil who is a corporator from Ward 24 and also a homeopathy practitioner, formally inaugurated the BJP office in the half-demolished building in Shivajinagar area. He also put up banners announcing Central Government, State government and Surat Municipal Corporation schemes.
Talking to The Indian Express, BJP municipal councilor from Ward no. 23 (Udhna), Somnath Marathe, said, “We have made representations to the municipal commissioner to carry out the demolition process of the remaining structure of Ravindra Patil. The reason is that the office has been started on illegally constructed building and it damages the image of the BJP. It will even damage the party politically.”
After learning about the representations, Patil wrote to Surat city BJP president Nitin Bhajiyawala, seeking disciplinary action against all 26 municipal corporators on the ground that they had acted against the party ethics and they were personally targeting him.
A BJP municipal councillor for the last 20 years from ward no. 24 in Surat, Patil said, “The BJP municipal councillors are targeting me personally by making representations to municipal commissioner to demolish the BJP office. My emotional feelings are attached to that place. I have made representations to Surat BJP president to take action against 26 councillors. I will take up this issue with higher authorities in the party in the coming days.”
Surat city BJP president Nitin Bhajiyawala said, “I would not like to speak on the issue as it is an internal matter. In a family when there is a quarrel between two sons. Elders intervene and sort it out. We will also work accordingly.”