In an unprecedented move in the history of NMMC 14 members of the standing committee, cutting across party lines, have demanded a no-confidence motion be introduced in the general body against municipal commissioner Tukaram Mundhe.
Mayor Sudhakar Sonawane has forwarded the letter to the NMMC secretary and convened a special general body meeting on October 25 to discuss the resolution.
Even as the NCP, Congress and the Shiv Sena that have been loggerheads with each other have joined forces, the BJP has preferred to adopt a wait-and-watch approach. Its only member in the standing committee, Deepak Pawar did not sign the letter. NCP corporator Prakash More, whose election to the committee has been under dispute, also did not.
Rumours of a no-confidence motion by taking all parties along, allegedly planned by former minister and NCP leader Ganesh Naik had been in the air for quite some time. Sources said Naik had instructed his corporators to ensure that they did not take the lead but involved the opposition members and then supported such a resolution. The NCP has denied the reports.
With Shiv Sena’s standing committee chairman Shivram Patil leading the demand now, sources said the plan has worked. They claimed that Shiv Sena deputy leader Vijay Nahata, who is close to the Shiv Sena party leadership, has played an important role in the Shiv Sena’s decision to go along with Naik’s plan. The Congress, too, has joined the bandwagon.
The BJP, whose MLA Manda Mhatre was the first to go public with her differences with Mundhe, has decided to stay away as of now.
While Shiv Sena opposition leader Vijay Chougule refused to comment on the development, Shivram Patil said, “We had always supported the commissioner, however, he continued to attack us. We didn’t want to exercise our right of the no-confidence motion, however, we have been compelled.”
He added, “All the parties have come together to take on this wrong. We did not contact the BJP.”
Manda Mhatre said the party was not supporting the resolution as they do not have instructions from party leadership. She added, “Our differences with the commissioner are in public interest. I do not have any personal agenda.”
Mundhe refused to comment on the development.
The move comes days after Mundhe invited Mhatre to his office for a cup of tea and himself went to meet Sonawane at the civic school in Rabale, which Sonawane has nurtured over the years.
After the meeting, Sonawane had said that they had decided to not make their discussion public.
Upset with the administration, Sonawane had refused to attend the NMMC meetings. It is the mayor’s prerogative to call a general body meeting.