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Shiv Sena needles Devendra Fadnavis ahead of decision on NMMC chief

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Shiv Sena needled Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is in a quandary over a no-confidence motion passed against NMMC Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe, as it exhorted him to take the democratic route and remove the officer rather than being “unnecessarily stubborn” on the issue.

105 Corporators in the NCP-ruled Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), barring six from BJP, have unanimously passed a no-confidence motion against Mr. Mundhe for his alleged “autocratic” style of functioning. The motion was supported by Shiv Sena, NCP, Congress and Independents.

On Wednesday, NMMC Mayor Sudhakar Sonawane demanded his immediate recall by the Chief Minister saying that the officer has lost all right to head the civic body.

However, the final decision on Mr. Mundhe now rests with Mr. Fadnavis, as he holds the Urban Development portfolio.

“In a democracy, majority holds immense significance and the no confidence motion has been passed with majority. Thus, the Chief Minister should not show unnecessary stubbornness. If all elected representatives have stood up against the civic chief, the state government has to respect their decision,” the Shiv Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.

Mr. Fadnavis, however, has indicated his support for Mr. Mundhe, saying “targeting an officer for doing his duty, exposing irregularities and preventing wrong happenings is absolutely wrong”.

Shiv Sena claimed that had the BJP corporators been given the “liberty” to do what they deemed right, they too would have voted against Mr. Mundhe.

“How can corporators from across party lines vote against him without a valid reason? In his autocratic style of functioning, he has belittled the role of elected representatives. He has never been able to complete his minimum three-year stipulated term whichever post he held. He should introspect reasons behind it,” it said.

“An officer is a representative of the government who has to abide by the Constitution. Even the CM talks respectfully with members of Opposition parties. Elected representatives have immense responsibility towards people and it isn’t right to try and get them in trouble by using your position,” the Shiv Sena said.

Mr. Mundhe was accused of “undemocratic functioning” by corporators even though his drive against illegal constructions, allegedly linked to politicians, has earned him the backing of a section of residents.

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