MUMBAI: Politicians from all political parties, expect the BJP, came together on Tuesday to pass a no-confidence motion against commissioner of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) Tukaram Mundhe.
Mundhe is known as an upright officer and has been transferred eight times in 10 years of his career. Before coming to Navi Mumbai, Mundhe was collector of Solapur, where he took on many powerful politicians along with the sand and land mafia.
There too people supported his action even as politicians complained against him. The BJP-led Maharashtra government is likely to suspend the no-confidence motion. However, in a statement to the police, NMMC mayor Sudhakar Sonavane urged them not to let Mundhe enter the premises of the Corporation headquarters.
“If he (Mundhe) enters the Corporation headquarters, there would be a law and order situation,” the mayor told the city police chief during a meeting. The no-confidence motion, proposed by the NCP, Shiv Sena and Congress, was passed 105-6. Only six members of the BJP, of the total 111, opposed the motion. The Shiv Sena was in two minds over the motion. However, in a meeting at party president Uddhav Thackeray’s residence on Monday evening, it decided to support the motion.
The corporation is controlled by the NCP. Meanwhile, a senior State government official said that section 451 of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act gives the State the power to rescind or suspend any resolution of any corporation in certain cases, including for the larger public interest. “We think the municipal commissioner’s work is on the right track. He has given us enough evidence of there being a clutch of properties where no property tax has been levied for years, of irregularities in housekeeping contracts and other basic tenders.
According to the state, he is doing everything that a municipal commissioner is expected to do. Even the citizens are in his favour,” the official said. Residents and activists have firmly stood by Mundhe, lauding him as an honest officer who acted against illegal constructions and corruption in the civic body. ‘Support Mundhe’ messages have gone viral on social media, with residents alleging that politicians were pursuing vested interests.
Mundhe is the third civic chief in Maharashtra who faced a no confidence motion. In 1997-98, a no-confidence motion was passed by ruling Shiv Sena against then Thane municipal commissioner T Chandrashekhar. Another IAS officer Govind Swarup too faced similar action from politicians. However, both of them were reinstated by the chief ministers.