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Mafia Raj in BMC?

In a letter addressed to Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, Mayor Snehal Ambekar asks this question.

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Mayor Snehal Ambekar is miffed with the recurring allegations made by BJP saying that Shiv Sena is responsible for corruption prevailing in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). With an eye on 2017 BMC polls BJP MP Kirit Somaiya had attacked Sena by saying that BMC is in the grip of a powerful mafia which is controlled from Bandra. Snehal had written a letter to Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai Ajoy Mehta and asked whether mafia raj is prevailing in the civic body. Earlier Shiv Sena workers allegedly disrupted a programme organised by BJP MP Kirit Somaiya in suburban Mulund wherein an “effigy of corruption” was to be burnt to mark the festival of Dussehra. MCGM is ruled by the Sena-BJP alliance for the last 20 years.

Snehal Ambekar said, “Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta is the head of the BMC. He is the right person to answer whether mafia raj is prevailing in the civic body or not. The civic body officials have been working hard for the city’s development. BJP has been making allegations about rising corruption in the BMC to garner political mileage.”

BJP MP Kirit Somaiya has been targeting Sena over “corruption” and has expressed his party’s resolve to end “corruption mafia” in the civic body.  In a function organised on the occasion of Dussehra festival at Mulund, Somaiya had once again raised the issue of corruption in the BMC which invited the ire of Shiv sainiks. A tussle had broken out between activists of both the parties as some persons were injured. The activists arrived at the spot with bamboos in hand and were chanting slogans against Kirit Somaiya. The clash was averted after the intervention of the police.

Somaiya, who represents the Northeast Mumbai constituency, said, “I will continue my fight against the “mafia-raj and corruption in Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM).” He also alleged that Shiv Sainiks had tried to kill him.

The saffron party’s strategy to link Shiv Sena with the scams in the BMC is clearly visible. It has cornered the Shiv Sena over four “scams” in last one year without directly taking the party’s name.

BJP’s Mumbai unit president Ashish Shelar too has taken barbs at Sena, drawing pointed reactions from the Uddhav Thackeray-led party.

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