The BMC Standing Committee meeting, which was convened after over six months to discuss and post-facto approve 674 proposals related to Covid-19 and other development works in the city, was adjourned on Wednesday without clearing a single proposal.
The day witnessed high drama with BJP’s Bhalchandra Shirsat, who was nominated as a corporator in the Standing Committee, was disqualified.
The BMC has 227 elected representatives with five persons, who are experts in various fields or experienced in the civic body’s working, being nominated as members.
The practice of nominating members was initiated in 1997 to assist the BMC in its functioning. However, over the years, instead of experts, professors and those associated with NGOs, mostly politicians who have lost polls have been accommodated in the committee. The nominated corporators do not get voting rights in the general civic body, but are treated at par with elected corporators and also allotted funds and perks. At present, while Sena and BJP each have two nominated members, Congress has one.
Shiv Sena group leader Vishakha Raut moved a proposal against the appointment of Shirsat as a nominated corporator and demanded his disqualification. Highlighting the appointment of K P Naik, Sena’s nominated corporator, as a standing committee member from 1997 to 2002, Shirsat asked: “Why don’t they want me as a committee member? Over two hours were wasted in this debate instead of discussing the proposals. The standing committee chair can’t disqualify me, I am a member of this corporation and only the mayor has the right to disqualify me as a nominated corporator.”
After heated debate, Standing Committee Chairman Yashwant Jadhav, who is a Sena corporator, disqualified Shirsat from the committee and asked him to leave. “…a nominated member cannot be a member of the standing committee and I disqualify (Shirsat) and ask him to please step out of the general body hall,” he said. As Shirsat refused, Raut moved to adjourn the meeting. “The chairperson has repeatedly asked you (Shirsat) to vacate the hall. There are many crucial proposals, and especially the ones related to Covid-19 that we want to discuss and approve. However, if Bhalchandra Shirsat doesn’t leave the meeting, I move the proposal to adjourn the meeting,” she said.
Seventeen members, including Sena, Congress and NCP corporators, voted to adjourn. The next meeting has been scheduled for October 26.
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