Mumbai: In another blow to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, the Maharashtra cabinet led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has reversed the previous MVA government’s decision to increase the number of municipal wards in Mumbai from 227 to 236. The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Uddhav Thackeray-led government had last year increased the number of BMC wards from 227 to 236. But at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Shinde, who toppled the Thackeray government in June by rebelling against Thackeray, withdrew the decision.
In this way, BMC will have 227 wards as before. The government said that the upcoming elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be held as per the old ward structure of 2017.
Congress leader Milind Deora welcomed the decision, saying it was a big victory for his party and the people of Mumbai. The former MP tweeted, “Maharashtra government has revoked the shameless undemocratic ward-wise delimitation done by Shiv Sena. It was an insult to the coalition dharma of MVA as well as common Mumbaikars.”
Last month, he wrote a letter to Chief Minister Shinde, demanding that the new ward system be abolished. Meanwhile, the statement from the Chief Minister’s Office also said that the number of corporators in the other 26 municipal corporations of the state would be revised in proportion to the population.
In a municipal body with a population of three lakh to six lakh, the minimum number of seats will be 65 and the maximum number will be 85. These cities will have one additional member/corporator for every 15,000 people. Municipal bodies with a population of 6 lakh to 12 lakh will have a minimum of 85 and a maximum of 115 seats.
There will be one additional member for every 20,000 voters. For municipal bodies with a population of more than 12 lakhs, there will be one additional member for every 40,000 people.
Cities with a population of more than 2.4 million will have one additional member per 50,000 people. Municipal bodies with a population of more than 30 lakhs will have additional members per one lakh people. Municipal bodies with a population of 12 lakh to 24 lakh will have 115 to 151 seats, while bodies with a population of more than 24 lakh and up to 30 lakh will have a minimum of 151 and a maximum of 161 members.
Municipal bodies with a population of more than 30 lakh will have a minimum of 161 seats and a maximum of 175 seats. The cabinet – which currently comprises only Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis – on Wednesday also decided to amend the Maharashtra Zilla Parishad Act, 1961.
As per the amendment there will be minimum 50 and maximum 75 seats in Zilla Parishads. At present, the ZP may have 55 to 85 seats. The decision was taken in view of the declining population in rural areas, an official release said.