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BMC gets Rs. 647 cr. as first GST payout

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The Hindu       06.07.2017    

BMC gets Rs. 647 cr. as first GST payout

Money matters:Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray receive the cheque from Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Wednesday.Deepak SalviDeepak Salvi  

Sena corporators shout slogans against PM, heckle BJP corporator

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday received the first payout of Rs. 647 crore as compensation for the revenue it will lose following the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST).

State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar presented the cheque to Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar at the BMC headquarters. Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray also addressed the gathering.

Just before the ceremony, however, Sena corporators allegedly heckled Makrand Narvekar, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator from Colaba, outside the headquarters. They allegedly also shouted slogans against Prime Minister Minister Narendra Modi during the ceremony.

Mr. Narvekar told The Hindu , “It was an important day for Mumbai as the BJP-led State government handed over the payout of close to Rs. 700 crore in fulfilment of the promise made to the city. This fact did not go down well with the Sena, and as per their usual tactics, the party tried to distract people’s attention from the core issue. As they say the tiger never changes its stripes, the use of violence and goondagiri is in the DNA of the Shiv Sena, which came to fore again today.”

Mr. Narvekar said some people tried to obstruct his way and prevent him from entering the BMC hall. “To be honest, I did not even recognise the people who created the fracas. There are so many new corporators in the BMC today. I have sought a copy of the closed circuit television camera footage, and my party will take a call on any further action to be taken over the incident.”

Mr. Narvekar said he was merely heckled and obstructed by the group of corporators, and not assaulted as was being said by the Sena. He did not reject the possibility of having been targeted because of the Sena’s strained relationship with his elder brother, Rahul Narvekar, who left the party in 2014 and joined the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

Rahul Narvekar had served as the spokesperson of the youth wing of the Shiv Sena till 2014, when he withdrew his candidature from the Maharasthra Legislative Council elections and joined the NCP. He had extremely close relations with Matoshree, and was part of Mr. Thackeray’s ‘kitchen cabinet’ before he left the party. Mr. Thackeray has in the past held on to grudges against high-profile party deserters; he only recently shared the dais with Congress leader Narayan Rane, 12 years after he left the Shiv Sena.

Mr. Makrand Narvekar was elected as an independent candidate from Colaba in the recently held civic polls, and subsequently joined the BJP along with his brother’s wife, Harshada, in March 2017.

“I have no grudges against anyone. But even presuming that that was the reason for the heckling, the crux of the issue is that the Sena is a party of goons who resort to violence at the drop of a hat. Sena corporators were also shouting slogans and calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi disparaging names. When confronted, they claimed they were referring to Lalit Modi (former chairman of the Indian Premier League). And the Sena leaders were shouting slogans when their own party chief was addressing the gathering. This speaks volumes about the party discipline,” Mr. Narvekar said.