Sending a strong message to the ruling NCP in Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) that they cannot be taken for granted,the Congress walked out of a general body meeting Monday after a civic administration proposal apprising the House on the resignation of Vaishali Bankar as Mayor was taken up.
Bankar had resigned as per directives of her party,which had announced last year that she would hold the post for 15 months and another NCP corporator would take over for the next 15 months. The post is reserved for women corporator belonging to Other Backward Class.
PMC Opposition leader Arvind Shinde said,The Congress did not want to be part of the discussion on the issue of Mayor. Pointing out that NCP did not consult the Congress before seeking Bankars resignation,Shinde said,The Bombay High Court is hearing a case on the post of leader of Opposition of PMC after the MNS challenged the decision of allotting the post to the Congress. MNS might take advantage of the Congress stance in court.
Shinde added the NCP had assured the Congress that it would not contest the recently held civic bypolls. However,they made efforts to win the seat.
We will meet Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre to discuss this issue. We will also discuss the court case and the possible impact on the Congress if an NCP candidate is supported for the post of Mayor, he said. The party stance on whether to risk losing the post of leader of Opposition to support an NCP candidate for Mayor would be taken as per the directives of senior party leaders,said Shinde.
Party leaders will take a decision on whether the Congress will contest for Mayors post and also about any move to shift Deputy Mayor Deepak Mankar from the post, he said.
Earlier,BJPs Ashok Yenpure raised an objection over Bankar continuing as Mayor till the new Mayor takes charge. The civic administration should also declare the programme for Mayoral elections and also inform us who should hold the post till the election of a new Mayor, he said.
Municipal secretary Sunil Parkhi said as per norms,the present Mayor should continue till a new Mayor takes charge. The programme for Mayoral elections will be laid out as per the instructions of the divisional commissioner, he said.