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IS MAYOR SAGAR NAIK OVERDOING HIS ACT OF BRINGING DISCIPLINE IN NMMC GENERAL BODY MEETINGS?

sagar-naik-edWhen Mayor Sagar Naik started implementing his all new rules for bringing discipline in NMMC General Body Meetings, there were contradictory responses but the higher percentage believed it was for better. However, in the last two general body meetings convened this month, members are increasingly getting upset over the Mayor refusal to give them time to speak on public issues. And it’s not just the opposition members but even ruling front corporators who have publicly voiced their disapproval against the Mayor’s attitude and new rules. Is Mayor Sagar Naik overdoing his act of bringing discipline in NMMC General Body Meetings? This has become a subject of hot debates and discussions among corporators, media and knowing citizens. When the young Mayor initially put his foot down saying that he will not permit wastage of time by corporators during general body meetings, it was welcomed by everyone. After all indiscipline and wastage of time had become the trademark of general body meetings. However off late, the Mayor has become to stringent on his diktats that it has created an unrest in both opposition and ruling party corporators who have started feeling how will they raise public issues and concerns if they are not given time for discussion in the general body meetings – that are held just once every month. The first signs of differences brewing under cover between the Mayor and ruling party corporators became public in the general body meeting held earlier this month. The confrontations were witnessed between the young Mayor Sagar Naik and senior member Shivram Patil of NCP. Shivram Patil raised the issue of the injustice on the Mathadis and how Income Group house owners in KK, from whom the cost of changing drinking water pipelines is being recovered while for all others in the city, the corporation is bearing the cost, including the middle and high income group apartment owners in the city. Stating that the municipal commissioner had assured to look into the matter within a month, Shivram Patil demanded a reply from the commissioner, as more than a month had passed since the commissioner’s assurance. Mayor Sagar Naik, prompted by Deputy Mayor Bharat Nakhate refused to allow the commissioner to reply on the same, stating that he would convene a meeting with the commissioner to sort out the issue. Shivram Patil insisted that the Commissioner reply to the issue, on the floor of the House. The Mayor refused to allow the same. Shivram Patil expressed anguish and fury and alleged that the administration was being supported by the Mayor in the denial to the 11000 low income households of KK. In another case of denial by the Mayor, Congress’s Vilas Bhoir who came in late to the meeting demanded that his proposals be taken up for approval. The Mayor had stayed the proposal as the member was absent when the proposal came up for approval. Vilas Bhoir stated that the proposal could be taken up as he was personally present, though late. The Mayor Sagar Naik refused to oblige. Vilas Bhoir’s demand fell on deaf ears and he voiced his protest against the mayor’s stand. These two incidents led to many believing that the Mayor Sagar Naik should have given time to injustice being done to Mathadis taken up by Shivram Patil and time to take up Vilas Bhoir’s proposals as in the last too earlier Mayors have allowed proposals of members that were stayed after the said members came in late. Perhaps that’s where the problem lies – where does one draw the line between public interest and discipline. The question gains ground as the unrest continued in the general body meeting held this week too leading to opposition corporators tearing agenda papers and staging a walk out when the Mayor refused them permission to speak on one proposal of MRI. It is said that Mayor Sagar Naik’s style of conducting meetings are endorsed by Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik himself who heads every pre general body meetings of corporators. However, the sudden surge of strict discipline that Sagar Naik is attempting to bring in the democratic set up of general body meetings is creating frictions within the NCP party. At the same time it is also raising questions whether injustice is being done to certain issues and proposals of public interests that seem to be find no time for discussions during Mayor Sagar Naik’s general body meetings. With bureau inputs, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.

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