In a veiled reference to Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) commissioner Tukaram Mundhe, former guardian minister Ganesh Naik dubbed as ‘autocratic’ the manner in which Navi Mumbai civic body was functioning presently. Without naming Mundhe, Naik exhorted NCP workers to hit the streets and launch protests in democratic manner if time demanded.
“Hitlershahi in NMMC is dangerous for democracy. If need be we should protest in democratic manner, court arrest in the interest and for justice of common man,” Naik advised his workers during a mega blood donation drive which is being organised ahead of his birthday on September 15. This is the first time that Naik has openly expressed his discontentment towards the working style of civic chief Mundhe.
Earlier, BJP MLA from Belapur Manda Mhatre too has been at loggerheads with civic chief Mundhe over his action against unauthorised constructions in gaothan areas and taken up the matter with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. The matter was also raised during the monsoon session and the CM had granted stay on the demolition drive till the end of rainy season.
Now, with Naik too expressing his displeasure over the functioning of Mundhe the issue is likely to snowball into a major controversy and confrontation between the civic chief and politicians looks imminent.
Meanwhile, secretary of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), Santosh Shetty has punched holes in the call for agitation given by Naik. “Naik himself was the guardian minister for last 20 years. He is having uncontrolled power over the civic body for last 20-years. Even today, NCP is in power in NMMC and despite this they have to launch an agitation is a clear indication of failure of Naik in handling the issue” said Shetty.
He added, “Naik never gave a call for agitation when homes in Digha were being demolished or when action was taken against hawkers or unauthorised constructions. Today, all of a sudden he has given a call for bandh. This is nothing but misleading people.”
Shetty said, “The commissioner is working within the framework of law and he is not wrong on any point. The former guardian minister, Airoli MLA should have sat with him and discussed the issues. This is nothing but residents are paying for the mistakes committed by the rulers here for last 20-years.”