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Audio clip row: BJP demands Yashwant Jadhav’s reply, resignation

12:34 AM Dec 05, 2020 | Dipti Singh

There was furore in the civic headquarters after the standing committee meeting as the Opposition BJP and the Shiv Sena corporators indulged in verbal clash on Friday. The chaos reigned after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporators have demanded a reply from Shiv Sena corporator and standing committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav about an audio clip wherein he is allegedly asking a contractor to withdraw the bid for works under the corporator’s fund in E-Ward (Byculla and Mazgaon).

During the meeting, BJP corporators sought a discussion on the matter. However Jadhav suggested that the matter should be discussed after the working of the committee is over. However, as soon as all the agenda to be discussed in the meeting got over, Jadhav concluded the meeting without discussing the audio clip. This enraged the BJP corporators, who staged a dharna outside Jadhav's office which was followed by a high voltage verbal clash among BJP and Shiv Sena corporators.

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In the viral audio clip, Yashwant Jadhav can reportedly be heard asking a contractor called Surajpratap Singh Deora to withdraw the contract bid he submitted for the improvement work in the E Ward (Byculla). “You know the system or not? You withdraw the work and I will tell them to not issue you a challan,” Jadhav can be heard saying.

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Responding to Jadhav, Deora replied: "It will be difficult for me to withdraw the bid as it will have an impact on my company. We will not bid for any work in the future.”

After getting shortlisted in the tendering process, every contractor is issued a challan as an acknowledgement of appointment. The bid in the audio clip refers to civic works such as toilet, footpath and pathway repairs along with drainage work etc.

Calling the incident a disgrace to the civic body, the BJP corporators have demanded Jadhav's resignation. BJP’s group leader in the BMC and Mulund corporator Prabhakar Shinde, said, “All this is a disgrace to the functioning of the corporation. Jadhav should accept moral responsibility and immediately resign from the post of chairman and a high-level inquiry should be conducted in the matter.”

Jadhav, meanwhile, accepted that the voice in the audio was his. He said: "If you listen to the recording carefully and without a political bias, there is nothing wrong in what I said. I got to know that the contractor has not done work properly in the past. As a public representative, it is my responsibility to ensure such contractors should not be awarded the contract. I will ask civic administration to order an inquiry into the matter. It is very evident how the incident is being given a political colour. I very well know who has done this and I’ll come out in open with a proof very soon. I have nothing to hide."

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