In lieu of the by polls to be held in Bhiwandi East, the election commission declared election code of conduct for entire Thane district till the 24th of this month. Since Navi Mumbai comes under Thane district, the code of conduct was applicable to NMMC as well. Despite this, the NMMC administration called for an adjourned Standing Committee meeting, which was vehemently opposed by members. To ensure that the administration’s blunder would not spell trouble for NMMC, MLA Sandeep Naik who chairs the meeting stayed all the subjects on the agenda for the day, reports Monika Bhosale. Since NMMC comes in Thane District, the election code of conduct for Bhiwandi by elections is applicable to the civic body of Navi Mumbai as well. The code of conduct ends on 24th of this month but even before the code of conduct could end; the NMMC administration took the controversial decision of calling for a standing committee meet. Reliable sources reveal that the meeting was called without prior discussion with the NMMC Standing Committee Chairman and MLA Sandeep Naik. Evidently, when the meeting started members created an uproar demanding an explanation from the administration for a violation that could land NMMC in a legal mess and create hurdles for public work as well. Standing Committee Chairman and MLA Sandeep Naik said that if there was any violation reported due to this meeting, then the administration would be responsible. On the other hand Shivram Patil said that Commissioner Vijay Nahata, who was absent for the meeting would solely be responsible for any violation. The Secretary Chandrakant Deokar, who is the convener of the meeting, accepted that if there was any violation of the election code of conduct, his office would be responsible. After the uproar, MLA Sandeep Naik decided to adjourn the meeting. Addressing the media after the press conference, he said that the administration had brought out the meeting’s agenda and that’s why they were responsible for it. But since members objected to this, he adjourned the meeting. He explicated that if the proposals on the agenda would have been given approval, the matter could have landed NMMC in court and public work of the day would be delayed by months. He assured that they would conduct two meetings in one week after the code of conduct so that neither public work was affected not code of conduct violated. Some members had also raised objections about administration sighting the reason of election code of conduct for implementing public work. On this too MLA Sandeep Naik said that the administration was working in a rather negligent manner. What came as a shock was that the meeting was called by the administration. Yet the several HODs including Commissioner Vijay Nahata himself remained absent for the meeting. Due to this several issues raised during the meeting by members could not be addressed. MLA Sandeep Naik ordered HODs and the Commissioner to be present for the next Standing Committee meeting. He said that specifically some policy decisions require the presence of the Commissioner who should inform the house in advance if he chooses to remain absent. The next Standing Committee meeting is scheduled for the 25th of this month. With cameraperson Abhay Prasad, Monika Bhosale for NMTV News.
October 20, 2008