BJP corporator Seema Savle, who gained fame as an “anti-graft crusader” during the Ajit Pawar-led NCP regime in Pimpri-Chinchwad, was elected the chairperson of the Standing Committee of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, unopposed, on Friday. Savle is the first corporator from the backward class community to be elected the PCMC’s Standing Committee chairperson.
Minutes after she was elected to the post, Savle declared that corrupt officials, contractors and office-bearers will face strong action during her tenure. “There is no question of pardoning those who have tried to loot public money. I refused to align with the corrupt…the corrupt will be punished and punished severely,” said Savle.
When asked about the fate of the tender process during the NCP regime, Savle spoke about her intention to review all the projects sanctioned during that time. “All the tendering processes will be reviewed. If we find something fishy in them, they will be cancelled and those responsible will be questioned and investigated,” she said.
Savle added, “During my tenure, it will not be known as the commission committee but a people’s committee. I will ensure that it will be a honest, transparent and public-oriented committee. I request all local residents to approach me directly for whatever civic works they want to be carried out in their areas. They can contact me on my cellphone or can meet me in the civic office during working days.”
Savle also said she will shun the use of an official car. “This will help the PCMC save Rs 12 lakh every year. I will not seek any fuel reimbursements,” she said.
When asked whether the Standing Committee meetings would be thrown open to media and the general public, a demand made for years and resisted by the NCP, Savle said she had already made up her mind to throw open the panel meetings.
“During my tenure, the panel will not work with secrecy. People have a right to know how their money is being spent. However, the decision regarding throwing open the meetings will be made in consultation with the civic administration and journalists’ body next week,” she said.
Speaking on the hazards posed by the speed-breakers across the length and breadth of Pimpri-Chinchwad, Savle said the state of all roads will be reviewed. “We will ensure that roads become safe and the speed-breakers don’t pose a risk to travellers or damage their vehicles,” she said.
Mayor Nitin Kalje and BJP leaders such as Gajanan Babar, Azam Pansare, Eknath Pawar, Shankar Jagtap, Babu Nair and Sarang Kamtekar and Raju Durge were present on the occasion.
NCP leader Yogesh Behl, opposition leader in the PCMC House, said, “The NCP will play the role of an effective opposition and will not oppose only for the sake of opposing. Seema Salve, who has been at the forefront of making accusations, will have to ensure that she doesn’t face the same allegations”.
Savle countered that by saying whenever she made allegations of corruption, they were based on concrete proof. “No newspaper was ready to publish our allegations unless they were backed by concrete evidence. Therefore, every time we blew the lid off a civic scandal, it was backed by solid proof,” she said.
Savle said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had promised transparency in the functioning of civic bodies and she would do everything possible to live up to the party’s promise. “BJP will provide clean and transparent governance,” she said.
Credits success to her husband Seema Savle credited her success to husband Sarang Kamtekar, who is a BJP general secretary. “Had it not been for Sarang, it would not have been possible for me to reach to this status..,” she said.