Published On : Mon, Apr 20th, 2015

Congress bays for Mayor’s blood for sly changes in minutes of Property Tax hike

NMC-Building1Nagpur: The ‘clandestine’ amendments in agreed upon minutes of hike in Property Tax proposal created unprecedented uproar in General Body Meeting (GBM) of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) with Opposition parties led by Congress demanding resignation of Mayor and other office-bearers over the issue.

The agenda of General Body Meeting held on Monday included approval for minutes of hike in Property Tax proposal. But owing to their different stand, the Congress, NCP and BSP strongly opposed the hike by their own ways. In the meanwhile, the Ruling Party, on the basis of majority, included the amendments in the minutes as suggested by Congress and also approved it.

In today’s GBM, the Mayor adjourned the house twice for lack of quoram. When the House assembled again, the Opposition Leader Vikas Thakre protested the mention of approval of hike in property tax proposal as agreed upon or unilaterally. Thakre reminded the Mayor that in the last GBM the entire Opposition had registered opposition to the stiff hike in Property Tax. The opposition was in the interest of citizens. And after the uproar the Opposition parties had walked out of the House. Still the Ruling Party (Mayor) mentioned the word majority in the minutes while approving the proposal instead of unilaterally. The minutes mentioned approval of hike in Property Tax proposals by majority instead of agreed upon or unilaterally. However, the Congress demanded that the minutes be amended and there should be mention that the proposal was passed unilaterally despite strong opposition from Congress party. Surprisingly, the Congress demand was supported by Ruling Party Leader Dayashankar Tiwari.

In the meanwhile, the NCP Corporator and MLC Prakash Gajbhiye protested the very system of increasing Property Tax. However, he was stopped abruptly by Mayor and directed that the Question Hour be taken up in accordance with Section 44 of Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act. However, Gajbhiye continued his tirade despite the Mayor rebuffing him. Coming out in support of Gajbhiye,  Thakre pleaded the Mayor that he be allowed to speak in the House. But seeing that the Mayor was in no mood to allow him speak in the meeting, Thakre, Gajbhiye and entire BSP Corporators rushed to the Chair of Mayor and started raising slogans for their respective demands. Finding himself cornered, the Mayor appealed the agitating leaders to take their seats but finally adjourned the House for five minutes. However, the situation turned steamier after the five-minute break. In the growing chaos, the Mayor, as per planned strategy, approved all the subjects in the listed matter unilaterally. The amendments in the minutes of Property Tax hike proposal, as demanded by Thakre and supported by Tiwari, were also given seal of approval.

Frequently bungling Mayor should quit: Thakre
The Leader of Opposition Vikas Thakre said that the move to increase Property Tax was opposed tooth and nail in the last two General Body Meetings. In the first, the issue was not put for discussion on the pressure of Opposition. The second time, the proposal was approved without discussion despite vociferous protests by the Congress and other parties. And today, by changing minutes at its will and that too keeping the opposition parties in dark about mentioning their names in minutes and passing the proposal in the name of majority is nothing but shameful. Earlier also, efforts were made to make three officers permanent without discussion in the House. When the issue got exposed the Mayor had to tender apologies. Therefore, the Mayor should quit or the BJP should saddle another Mayor so that the same mistakes are not repeated every now and then.

NCP opposes hike in Property Tax: Gajbhiye
NCP Corporator Prakash Gajbhiye assrted that his party opposes the hike. The citizens are staging their protests in front of residences of Corporators, daily. The middle class families are being forced to sell their houses to get rid of hiked Property tax. All the issues be discussed in the House and after registering suggestions and objections the final draft  should be approved, said Gajbhiye.