Mumbai Congress said BJP MP Kirit Somaiya’s “Bandra sahib” comment has validated the party’s charge that the Shiv Sena-BJP-ruled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is riddled with corruption and demanded police probe into the matter.
Last week Somaiya had alleged that there was “a ‘ghotala’ (corruption) in every (civic) department and the BMC was in the “grip of a powerful mafia” being controlled by a “sahib from Bandra and his PA”. However, the BJP Parliamentarian from Mumbai did not identify the persons he was referring to but his comment was seen as a veiled criticism of the Shiv Sena. Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam latched on Somaiya’s comment and demanded filing of an FIR against “the sahib of Bandra and his PA”. “We have launched a series of initiatives that have exposed the murky world of corruption prevailing in the civic body. Now ruling party MP Kirit Somaiya has also corroborated our stand by saying BMC was in the ‘grip of a powerful mafia’,” he told PTI. “There is scam everywhere (in BMC). Nullah desilting scam, road repairing scam, dumping ground scam, fire brigade scam, tablet scam, waste management scam etc,” the former Congress MP said, adding “there is a perfect case for police to book the duo.”
Nirupam said he along with party workers would soon visit Azad Maidan Police Station in South Mumbai and press for filing of an FIR. Police should ask Somaiya to identify the persons he was referring to, the Congress leader said. “If Azad Maidan Police does not register an FIR, we would approach Police Commissioner. If he also snubs us, we would go to Anti-Corruption Bureau, to Governor or to Lokayukta. We are not going to let the issue of large scale corruption prevailing in BMC die down,” said the former MP from North Mumbai. On May 11, Nirupam dashed off a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis seeking dissolution of the civic body due to the prevailing “graft”. The country’s richest civic body, ruled by saffron allies for over two decades, will go to the polls in early 2017.