THREE corporators of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) were disqualified on Wednesday by Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar following a Bombay High Court order. Two corporators of the BJP — Murji Patel and his wife Kesarben Patel from Jogeshwari (West) — and Congress corporator Rajpati Yadav from Kandivali (East) were disqualified at a special general body meeting called on Wednesday.
The disqualification is likely to increase the corporator strength of the Shiv Sena in the BMC, as the runner-up in two of these seats were from the Sena. In the third seat, the runner-up candidate belongs to the Congress.
The disqualified corporators alleged that Mayor Mahadeshwar called the general body meeting hastily despite them appealing the HC order in the Supreme Court. On April 2, the Bombay High Court held that the three corporators would have to face disqualification as per law as they had failed to prove their caste before the Caste Scrutiny Committee (CSC).
“I wrote a letter to the mayor informing him that we are challenging the high court order in the Supreme Court. But it seems he was in a hurry. Let’s see what will happen in the apex court. Our case is scheduled for a hearing on Friday,” Murji Patel told The Indian Express.
Congress corporator Rajpati Yadav did not respond to calls.
A senior municipal official said, “With the announcement of disqualification of these three corporators, the runners-up in these seats will have to approach the Small Causes Court for their appointment as corporators. In the case of Murji Patel and Rajpati Yadav, the runner-up candidates were from Shiv Sena. In the case of Kesarben Patel, a Congress candidate was the runner-up. If they get orders from the Small Causes Court, then the mayor will have to declare them as the new corporators.”
He added that even if the Supreme Court stays the high court order, these corporators would remain disqualified unless the apex court gives an order in the three corporators’ favour.
Currently, 93 corporators in the 227-member BMC belong to the Shiv Sena, while 85 belong to the BJP.