Ruckus over BMC engineers’ recruitment

BJP supports Sena to clear proposal

A ruckus erupted in Wednesday’s standing committee meeting over the recruitment of junior engineers. The Shiv Sena took the help of its former ally Bharatiya Janata Party and allowed the proposal to be passed, making it clear there is no Maha Vikas Aghadi, the mixed-bag coalition that rules the State, in the municipal corporation.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had begun the recruitment process for the position of 341 junior engineers last year. The administration had called for applications to hold an entrance exam while the model code of conduct was in force in the State in view of Assembly elections. When this information was brought to light, standing committee members opposed the proposal since several civic staffers who wanted to apply for the job could not as they were on election duty. Standing committee members from the Sena, Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Samajwadi Party had directed the civic administration not to hold the exam. They had also called it an insult to the committee as it was not consulted on conducting the exams. The BMC received 36,218 applications for 341 posts and the process of holding the exam cost the administration ₹1.5 crore.

Even after the MVA had been formed in the State, there was no announcement of an alliance at the municipal corporation level. With a majority in the BMC, the Sena continues to be the single largest party. In the recently-concluded zilla parishad elections too, the MVA constituents had not fought as an alliance.

However, when the same proposal came before Wednesday’s standing committee meeting, the Shiv Sena allowed it to be passed despite opposition from the Congress and NCP. The Opposition claimed they were not even allowed to speak, and walked out. “We were not even allowed to record our remarks and instructions. The chairman has done this once, and might do this again. We will stage a walkout again if that happens,” said leader of the opposition Ravi Raja.

Chairman Yashwant Jadhav said, “Since the BMC has already spent ₹1.5 crore on the process, we felt public money should not be wasted. That is why we allowed it to be passed. If the Opposition is unhappy, we will speak to them.”

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