Home / News / India /  Maharashtra Assembly reverses previous govt's decision of increasing BMC wards

Maharashtra Assembly reverses previous govt's decision of increasing BMC wards

Maharashta CM Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis interact with media during a press conference at Sahyadri Guest House, in Mumbai. (HT_PRINT)Premium
Maharashta CM Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis interact with media during a press conference at Sahyadri Guest House, in Mumbai. (HT_PRINT)

The Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill reversing a decision of the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government to increase the number of wards in the Mumbai civic body from 227 to 236

The political drama in Maharashtra is not yet taking a pause since the Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday reversed a decision of the previous Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government. The new government led by Eknath Shinde has passed a bill to reverse the increase in the number of wards in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from 227 to 236.

Congress and Samajwadi Party supported the amendment to reverse the previous government's decision on wards in the cash-rich Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation where the elections are due. 

The NCP and the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena spoke against the amendment by highlighting a Supreme Court decision directing for a status quo.

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis defended the decision clarifying that the apex court directive was in another case pertaining to quota for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs). He said, "Our ordinance is for reversing the number of wards from 236 to 227. There is no legal impediment."

Shiv Sena MLA Aaditya Thackeray retaliated calling the bill "unconstitutional, just like the government"; to which Chief Minister Eknath Shinde responded by saying, "In a democracy, numbers are important. We have the majority. We have not acted unconstitutionally."

Shinde also accepted MLA Sada Sarvankar's demand for an inquiry by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) into the previous government's decision to increase the number of wards. He further said, even though he was the urban development minister in the previous Uddhav Thackeray-led government, policy making is always a collective decision.

Congress MLA Amin Patel and Samajwadi Party MLA Raees Sheikh called upon past government's decision stating that ward delimitation was done to "benefit a particular party" and was not in the interest of the citizens of Mumbai. 

Sheikh claimed that the changes were done to target corporators from other parties who worked for several years by breaking the wards they represented. Both Patel and Sheikh did not name any party.

Amit Satam (BJP) elaborated upon the reversal stating that in the 2011 census, there was 3.87 per cent increase in population and since it was a minimal increase, the wards were not increased in 2017. But the number was increased by nine wards by the previous government, which was illegal, he claimed.

Speaker Rahul Narvekar defended the bill passed on Wednesday saying courts cannot decide on the enactment of a legislation. It is the prerogative of the legislature.

Chief Minister Shinde informed that his government received 892 complaints against the delimitation of wards by the previous government.

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