Amid allegations of graft, calls to dissolve Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation get louder

Opposition corporators seek resignation of Mayor, thorough probe into corruption cases.

Even as calls are getting louder for dissolution of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), appointment of an administrator and thorough investigation into alleged corruption, Mayor Usha Dhore justified her decision to wind up the civic general body meeting Saturday within 10 minutes. The Opposition has urged the state government to declare the meeting illegal.

“There were no issues for discussion, nobody raised their hands… Once items on the agenda were approved, I adjourned the meeting,” the mayor said. The meeting was held online with Dhore conducting it from her cabin.

Even as she adjourned the meeting, Opposition NCP and Shiv Sena members protested outside her cabin seeking her resignation before barging inside.

Dhore also denied that she had violated norms under the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation (BPMC) Act. “The meeting was held, subjects on the agenda were approved. There was nothing illegal in it and I don’t work under anyone’s pressure,” she said, adding that there was no question of her resignation as she had done nothing wrong.

NCP House leader Raju Misal said, “The BJP is trying to muzzle the voice of the Opposition. This is the first time in PCMC’s history that a civic general body was held behind closed doors. We will request the state government to declare this meeting illegal.”

Those in the forefront of protests included Sachin Bhosale, Yogesh Behl, Nana Kate, Mangala Kadam, Ajit Gavhane, Mayur Kalate, Vaishali Ghodekar, Bhausaheb Bhoir, Vaishali Kalbhor, Sameer Masulkar, Vinod Nade and Rahul Bhosale.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the Shiv Sena Pimpri-Chinchwad unit which met Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil on Friday demanded a thorough investigation into the corruption cases in the civic body. “Now that the BJP standing committee chairman himself has been arrested for graft, the civic administration should initiate a thorough probe and take action against the guilty,” Sena MP Shrirang Barne said.

“Since the BJP came to power in PCMC four and a half years ago, corruption has reached its peak. Several corruption cases have surfaced during the BJP rule. Be it Smart City projects, Amrut Yojana, PMAY or tender process, all have seen corruption to the tune of crores. PCMC officers, corporators and BJP office-bearers are themselves looting the civic body. For the first time in the history of the civic body, a standing committee chairman has been caught taking a bribe. This is the biggest proof of corruption in PCMC,” Barne said. The Sena held an agitation at the PCMC headquarters Friday.

Sena’s Pimpri-Chinchwad chief Sachin Bhosale said BJP promised transparency and good governance before coming to power. “But after coming to power, BJP leaders misused power and looted the civic treasury. We will urge Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde to launch a probe into the corruption cases of PCMC during BJP’s rule.”

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