Despite having 83 corporators in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the second-highest after Shiv Sena’s 97, the saffron party did not receive a single paisa from the Mayor’s Rs 190 crores fund, a report published in the Times of India said.
By contrast, Shiv Sena received a maximum of Rs 163 crores for its 97 corporators. Congress, with 29 corporators, bagged Rs 9 crores and the NCP got Rs 11 crores for its 8 corporators. Even Samajwadi Party, which has six corporators, managed to get Rs 4.75 crores from the Mayor’s fund. Corporators from other parties and independents got Rs 2.25 crores.
BJP corporator Vinod Mishra lamented the partial behaviour meted out to the corporators belonging to the saffron party. He alleged that they had been cheated once again and accused the Mayor of the city of doing injustice to the people of the city.
“We have been cheated once again. The Mayor’s Fund is not the private fund of the mayor. It is taxpayers’ money. The BJP’s 83 corporators have also been elected by the people of Mumbai and by not giving any money to BJP corporators, the mayor is doing injustice to these people,” Mishra said.
Earlier, the BJP was snubbed with a paltry allocation from the BMC standing committee’s kitty. BJP had then got Rs 140 crores from the Rs 650 crore fund passed by the civic standing committee. Sena had then received a staggering Rs 340 crores.
Shiv Sena member and Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar defends zero allocation to BJP’s 83 corporators
However, Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar, who is from Shiv Sena, said she could not allocate double funds to the BJP since they had already received Rs 140 crores from the standing committee. But, Pednekar did not elaborate on how Shiv Sena corporators qualified to receive Rs 163 crores when they were already given Rs 340 crores by the standing committee.
“The BJP has already received Rs 140 crore from the standing committee. So we can’t give them double funds through the Mayor’s fund. I have given funds to all group leaders and also to all corporators who gave request letters for funds,” Pednekar said.
She further alleged that when BJP was in power in the state, it was providing funds only to BJP MLAs and not to legislators from other parties. However, here too, Pednekar overlooked the fact that Shiv Sena had extended support to BJP while it was in power from 2014 to 2019.
Standing committee chairperson Yashwant Jadhav was more brazen in admitting prejudice against the BJP. He termed it as mayoral discretion to decide the allocation of funds given to corporators of different political parties.
“There is a convention that funds are distributed as per the corporator strength of each party. But there is no such rule when allotting standing panel and Mayor’s funds; they are given as per the discretion of the panel chairperson and mayor, respectively,” Jadhav said.
The civic administration had cut down on the standing committee’s amendment fund in the budget to Rs 650 crore from last year’s Rs 750 crores. The panel earmarks money for corporators for work in their constituencies and then the general body amends the budget further, which is known as Mayor’s fund.