Nagpur: The General Body Meeting (GBM) of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) on Monday was adjourned indefinitely amid uproar triggered by members of Bahujan Samaj Party and others over the issue of proposed Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Smarak near Yeshwant Stadium. Today’s GBM was expected to debate over several “burning issues” on the agenda but the Ruling Party (BJP) displayed its adept “Floor Management” skills in ‘connivance’ with BSP and approved some select proposals of ‘gain’ before the indefinite adjournment of the House amid the din.
The ‘indifference’ of Corporators across party lines towards the General Body Meeting could be gauged from the fact that only six members were present when the House assembled for GBM at 11 am. Due to lack of quorum, the proceedings of the House could start at 11.21 am. But the Mayor Nanda Jichkar, who presided over the meeting, asked the NMC Secretary about the number of Corporators present in the House, she was informed that 46 members were present. The Mayor again adjourned the House till 12 noon. When the House assembled again, it was adjourned for 20 minutes after tabling of condolence resolution.
As the proceeding commenced at 12.30 pm, the Mayor called for tabling of some select matters of the agenda and got them approved without any discussion amid the chaotic scenes. Later at 1 pm, the General Body Meeting was adjourned indefinitely leaving the Opposition as well as the first time Corporators ‘stunned.’
During the proceedings in between the adjournments, Congress Corporator Manoj Sangole initiated debate over the proposed construction of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Smarak near Yeshwant Stadium. However, ‘as per plans’ the BSP Group Leader Mohd Jamal ‘hijacked’ the issue by interrupting Sangole. Jamal accused BJP and Congress of using the name of Dr Ambedkar for their ‘selfish goals.’ “Now, we don’t want any discussion on the issue. Long discussions were already held in the House over the years but construction was not started till to date. Now, Mayor should announce the date for commencement of construction of Dr Ambedkar Smarak forthwith,” Jamal thundered. The moment Jamal finished his speech, other members of BSP, showing unity, gheraoed the Mayor and continued their furore over the demand.
Sensing that his subject is being ‘hijacked,’ Sangole pleaded with BSP members to let the debate over the issue continue. BJP member Dharmapal Meshram to came out in support of Sangole on the issue. On the other hand, over two dozen Congress members, despite being present in the House, ‘deserted’ Sangole who was found ‘fighting’ the issue all alone. Not to be outdone, Sangole too went to the Mayor’s chair amid the BSP uproar. But the Ruling Party Leader Sandeep Joshi stood from his seat and went near Sangole. After an animated discussion, he brought Sangole back to his seat. However, when BJP member Dharmapal Meshram moved in front of Mayor’s chair to protest BSP actions, the House was adjourned for five minutes for the fourth time. When the House assemble at 12.57 pm, the Ruling Party Leader took Jamal aside and whispered ‘something’ in his ears. Thereafter, instead of ‘calm’ in the House, the BSP furore got intensified.
Amidst the din, the Mayor continued reading of members’ questions. Enraged by the Mayor’s action, Congress member Kamalesh Chaudhary lost his cool and tore the agenda apart and hurled in the direction of Mayor. But Chaudhary’s action drew no support from other Congress members.
In the meanwhile, the Mayor called for tabling of many issues of today’s agenda and got them approved on the basis of majority. The Mayor did not heed the suggestion of Congress member Praful Gudadhe Patil that instead of according approval to the subjects they should be kept pending. However, on the insistence of some Ruling Party members, the Mayor did not call the matter concerning Gudadhe Patil and kept it pending till the next GBM. Thereafter, the House was adjourned indefinitely.