MUMBAI: Allegations and counter-allegations reigned the Mumbai civic body on Tuesday, as the ruling party in BMC Shiv Sena and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) corporators clash over a file on procurement of medicines related to monsoon ailments have gone missing from Mayor Kishori Pednekar’s office. As BJP leaders have filed a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Sena corporators have blamed the BMC administration for the issue.
BJP MLA from Mulund Mihir Kotecha and corporator from Kurar village Vinod Mishra submitted the complaint at the ACB office in Worli on Tuesday. Speaking to Free Press Journal Kotecha said "It is a very serious matter. A file was reportedly lying in the Mayor's office for months. The Central Purchase Department (CPT) had sent 18 reminders to the Mayor's office but no reply was given to them. Due to the lackadaisical approach of the Mayor, many poor people of Mumbai were deprived of these medicine" alleged Kotecha.
Meanwhile, Mishra said "The file has been missing for almost eight months after it was sent to the Mayor’s office for approval. The procurement was made by BMC’s Central Purchase Department (CPD) using the mayor’s financial powers.
However, Shiv Sena leaders in the civic body on Tuesday blamed BMC administration for missing the file to purchase Medicines worth Rs. 50 crore.
Vishakha Raut, Shivsena corporator and the Party's group leader in BMC said "Administration should not have sent this file to the Mayor's office. Because the Mayor has no power to sanction a file/ proposal which needs permission to spend more than rupees 75 lakh."
Every year BMC procures medicines to prevent viral monsoon diseases. This year also BMC wanted to buy medicines worth Rs 50 crores. But the said proposal was not sanctioned by the BMC during the entire monsoon season. Suddenly, this proposal was put forth in Monday's Standing Committee Meeting raising doubts among the corporators, who questioned the delay in tabling the proposal
Prabhakar Shinde, BJP corporator and group leader of BJP too alleged that the file worth Rs 50 Crore was lying in the Mayor's office for more than eight months for what. "If she had no powers to do so, why did she not return the file."
Shinde also raised suspicion and sought inquiry in this matter. Thereafter Yashwant Jadhav, chairman of BMC standing committee sent the Medicine proposal to the BMC commissioner for reconsideration.
Raut said, "This was a mistake on the part of BMC administrations so why we have been targeted for the mistake of administration."
"We accept that the file had come to the Mayor's office because there is an entry in the inward register. Thereafter, The said file was handed over to Ramakant Birazdar, Chief of Medicine Department So, now it's the duty of the administration department to search that file," added Raut.
She also said that BJP should not politicize the matter and that they must study the issue before making any allegations against the mayor. Further, Raut also sought an inquiry in search of missing file.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, Mayor Kishori Pednekar did not meet anybody including Media. A message was displayed on the door of her office in the BMC headquarters which read that due to the threat of Omicron variant Mayor will not be meeting any outsiders.