A day after releasing an audio clip alleging a nexus between Mumbai mayor Snehal Ambekar of the Shiv Sena and contractors, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has demanded her immediate resignation, saying her comments in the audio clip are not only an insult to the mayor’s post but also of the entire city.
Sandeep Deshpande, MNS group leader in BMC, said, “We have registered a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and demanded that they investigate the entire allocation of funds. At least till the case is being investigated by ACB, the mayor should step down as she has insulted the dignified post.”
On Monday, Deshpande released an audio clip of his conversation with the mayor alleging that Ambekar got requests from contractors for accommodating their needs while earmarking Rs 100 crore of Mayor’s development funds. On Monday evening, Ambekar registered a complaint with the Azad Nagar police station alleging that Deshpande edited the clip. She also said he had insulted her as a woman and made a conversation between two elected representatives public.
At a press conference held in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) headquarters on Monday, Deshpande said, “Since I had got threat calls a few months back, I was advised by the police to download a call recorder app because of which all calls get recorded directly on my phone. I have only made a political comment, I have in no way attacked her (mayor) personally.”
After the audio clip was released, the Opposition leader in the BMC, Devendra Amberkar, also demanded the mayor’s immediate resignation saying she had demeaned a municipal councillor’s image in front on Mumbaikars.
In the audio clip, a voice, allegedly that of Ambekar’s, is heard telling MNS group leader Sandeep Deshpande that contractors have made requests regarding allocation of funds.
While Ambekar refused to comment on the issue, Trushna Vishwasrao, senior Sena corporator and leader of the House, said, “Who is he to demand a resignation? And why should the mayor resign if she has not made any mistake. He has tried to settle scores for not receiving adequate funds for his ward and this is a grave mistake.”
Manoj Kotak, BJP group leader in the BMC, said, “Higher officials should be more responsible about the public statements they make. However, having said this, we also think it is wrong on the part of MNS to have tapped her phone call and made a political talk public. The incident should also be investigated to see if it truly the mayor’s voice.”
The BJP is Sena’s alliance partner in BMC.
Meanwhile, the issue was also raised in the Legislative Council on Tuesday. Dhananjay Munde, leader of Opposition in the Council, demanded that the day’s agenda be set aside for a serious discussion on the incident.
Munde said, “If the mayor of the city is heard saying that the contractor has sent requests, this is a serious issue. We demand a probe into the matter by the ACB.”
BMC warns against bogus octroi website
WITH bogus octroi websites operating on the Internet, the BMC has alerted citizens that the corporation’s website URL is http://www.mcgmoctroi.com. At a press conference on Tuesday, additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Mukherji said they have found a lot of bogus websites operating under several URLs like http://www.mcgmoctroi.net or http://www.mcgmoctroi.in. “We want to make it clear to citizens that they have to log on to http://www.mcgmoctroi.com for anything related to octroi. We have registered a complaint with the cyber cell to see if there have been any transactions on the other websites,” he said.