A Shiv Sena legislator Dilip Lande sparked a controversy after he made a civic contractor sit on a waterlogged road in Mumbai and asked people to dump garbage on him as a “punishment” for allegedly not getting drains cleaned properly.
Notably, Shiv Sena has been controlling the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for the past 25 years, but nothing has changed for the city.
Balveer Vaid, president of Bhartiya Safai Majdoor Parishad told Afternoon Voice, “I condemn this act of MLA Dilip Lande, he should have taken legal action or punished him by law but who gave him right to disgrace a contractor this way? So much misuse of power and surprisingly Shiv Sena CM is silent on such shameful acts? Shiv Sena leaders have gone overconfident since they came to power but this is dangerous for democracy.”
This is not the first time or first constituency where garbage is piled up; contractors are lenient because they bribe everyone to bag such contracts.
“I wish the people of Maharashtra would do a similar act with the ministers and MLAs of the state when they fail to deliver their duties. May right punish the contractor and when the MLAs don’t do their job, then people should do the same to the MLAs,” said Baburao Sanap, a street vendor from Kandivali.
In visuals of the incident that have gone viral, Dilip Lande a MLA from Chandivali constituency and his supporting gang members ask the contractor to sit on the waterlogged road. As the contractor sits, MLA’s close aid walks up to him and pushes the contractor until he collapses further. The MLA is then seen ordering two men as they lift heaps of garbage and slush and pour them over him.
BJP spokesperson Suresh Nakhua said, “Whatever the Shiv Sena MLA has done to the contractor is unlawful. He could have made a complaint with the BMC or demanded his company to be blacklisted, but throwing garbage on him by humiliating publicly and also making him sit on a waterlogged road is absolutely atrocious.”
Sujit Patker a Management Consultant and Auditor said, “MLA has acted in original Shiv Sena style and given him Balkadu (medicine) which is appreciated by Aam Janta. Performance-based contracts are the need of the hour with accountability and penalties. The flood situation in Mumbai is brutal. Especially when a lot of infrastructure projects are going around. Timely completion of projects is the key. Both the government and citizens should share the task and accountability. In such circumstances, anger is a very natural phenomenon, though it could have dealt otherwise too.”
AAP spokesperson Preeti Sharma Menon said, “What is the point is blaming the contractor when your government has failed at the city level and the state level to ensure better infrastructure to Mumbai and then use this kind of Gundagardi in public is completely unacceptable. The MLA has humiliated and attacked the contractor, he should be immediately arrested with strongest acts against him to show elected representatives cannot go away breaking the law.”
Deepak Bagri a Business Development Manager said, “BMC has always been a nexus of corporators, contractors and officials from the time of its inception and still the conditions are pathetic for everyone to see. Every year we have these issues of waterlogging in the majority of parts of Mumbai. What does the BMC do to keep a check? Who gives these MLAs the right to take the law into their hands for mismanagement by the BMC? What was Dilip Lande trying to achieve through this political stunt? Be it an MLA or an ordinary individual, we should all remember that nobody has the right to take the law into their hands. Time will tell if Shiv Sena sets this dangerous trend in motion and if it does God forbids if the same treatment is given to them by the people for mismanagement by the BMC.”
The contractor allegedly had not been showing up to get the drains cleaned and with the city receiving heavy monsoon rainfall over the past few days, the choked drains led to waterlogging on the road. The helpless contractor was hiding his face to protect his eyes; he silently took all the atrocity given by the MLA and his men that has not gone well with the people around.
One of the employees of the contractor told Afternoon Voice on the condition of anonymity, “Actually MLA should be blamed, due to COVID there is lack of manpower, managing everything in one go is literally not possible, when the contract is given to contractor lot of funds goes as a bribe to various counterpart and whatever remains is not enough to execute the work in such pandemic situation.”
In a statement, MLA Lande said those responsible for preventing waterlogging in the area are not showing up to do their job. “But people have placed their trust and elected me an MLA. So to fulfil my duty, I came here with the chief of the local party unit and Shiv Sainiks to clean the drains.”
“This work was entrusted to the contractor but he did not do it. That is why I have come out on the street to get the drain cleaner. We brought the contractor here because he did not do his job,” the legislator added.