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Shinde orders ACB probe into delimitation of BMC wards

Shinde made the announcement while speaking in the state legislative assembly as the amendment to the BMC act, aimed at reducing the number of seats in the civic body from 236 to 227, was passed.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said as many as 892 complaints had been filed against the revision in the BMC ward structure. (PTI, file)

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has announced a probe by the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) into the delimitation of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) wards, following allegations that the exercise was carried out to help the Shiv Sena.

Shinde made the announcement while speaking in the state legislative assembly as the amendment to the BMC act, aimed at reducing the number of seats in the civic body from 236 to 227, was passed.

Shinde said that the Congress, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bharatiya Jantata Party (BJP) were “having problems” with the delimitation.

The CM said as many as 892 complaints had been filed against the revision in the BMC ward structure.

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Earlier, Mahim MLA Sada Sarvankar had alleged irregularities in the delimitation of BMC wards and demanded an (ACB) probe in the matter. Sarvankar, who belongs to the Shinde faction of the Sena, said that in the Mahim assembly seat, a few wards were transferred to the Worli segment represented by Aaditya Thackeray, son of Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

Shinde said, “The census is done every 10 years and the increase in the number of wards takes place accordingly. There is an anomaly that the six wards were increased for 20 per cent population while nine wards for 3.8 per cent population.’’

He also denied the charge made by Aaditya Thackeray that the state government was showing haste in the matter even when the Supreme Court had ordered a status quo. The CM said that the top court had not stayed the proposal issued by the state government on reduction in ward strength within BMC limits, adding his government will not take any decision that goes against the law.

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The Opposition leaders told Shinde that it was him who, as a Sena minister, had taken a decision to increase number of wards from 227 to 236. To this, Shinde said though he was the urban development minister, “critical decisions are made as a collective responsibility” and “this was corrected”. He also expressed displeasure at “repeated taunts” that his government was illegally formed.

“Every morning at 9.30am, applications are made to the Supreme Court. But numbers matter here. We are working according to the rule of majority. This country has a Constitution, laws, and rules. We have not gone against them. We have a strong majority and our numbers are growing, so why should we be afraid? The Supreme Court and the High Court take decisions only according to the provisions of the Constitution,” said Shinde.

First published on: 24-08-2022 at 22:53 IST
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