MUMBAI: Santosh Patil, a Congress corporator from Sangli Municipal Corporation in Western Maharashtra, was suspended on Tuesday for saying 'Chowkidar hi chor hai'.
The general body of the corporation, which was won by the BJP in August 2018 after several years of Congress rule, was discussing the water supply scheme under AMRUT scheme of the centre. The opposition Congress corporators were questioning the unusually high bills under the scheme.
Santosh Patil who rose to speak on the topic was targetting the administration for it and accusing the BJP mayor of corruption and used the phrase 'Chowkidar hi chor hai' in the flow.
However, hell broke loose upon hearing the phrase and all BJP corporators gathered near the Mayor's seat while condemning Patil for using the phrase. Mayor Sangita Khot asked patil to withdraw the words and suspended him when he declined to do so.
The BJP members meanwhile started counter slogans of 'Chor Machaye Shor' even as the Congress and other opposition members started sloganeering in support of Patil.
In another twist to the story, in his clarification, Patil stated that he used the phrase in reference to the administration.
Upon hearing that Assistant Commissioner Smriti Patil condemned the statement and boycotted the meeting along with other officials. The sloganeering continued for some time even after the officers left the house after which the mayor adjourned the house.