Thane: The high handedness of Thane Municipal Commissioner in demolishing the office of BJP MLA Sanjay Kelkar has been dubbed as the political action rather than just being ‘administrative.’ TMC Commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal resorted to means beyond his allotted powers to get the ‘job done.’ Interestingly no notice was served before hard pressing the action, which is mandatory under Maharashtra Regional Town planning act.
Jaiswal has reportedly hired bouncers to carry out the task in the guise of his drive against illegal garage, bars and used car showroom in the area. During the demolition drive, the officials reportedly beat up Kelkar’s close aide and party worker Parikshit Dhume and applied undue force to pull down the office.
Confirming the reports, Dhume told Maharashtra Today, “Yes I was badly beaten up and thrashed by the officials. Keep aside the demolition drive, the officials even used abusive language with me and later let their bouncers to beat me up ruthlessly. Even I am feeling the cramp on my shoulder.”
Agreeing to the air that TMC officials have carried out the demolition to favour Shiv Sena, Dhume said, “There are wide chances that the action is politically biased. If that was not the case then why did they left Shiv Sena leaders office in Kopri untouched. The civic body has conducted demolition drive in Kopri but spared offices of Sena leaders. This seriously points to biased intention of civic officials.”
However TMC officials’ abuse of power has not gone down well within BJP parleys who have alleged that the action has been politically motivated in the wake of upcoming TMC elections. Sources alleged that Jaiswal along with Thane’s Assistant Municipal Commissioner has carried out the task at the behest of Shiv Sena leaders as the party wanted to let down BJP and gain political mileage in the upcoming TMC elections.
“Jaiswal wanted to terrorise opposition to favour Shiv Sena candidate”, alleged a source adding “Since the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis respects the action of bureaucrats, Jaiswal has been misusing this stance to draw favours for Shiv Sena.”
Sources alleged that Shiv Sena intends to project BJP MLA Sanjay Kelkar on the wrong end of law, just to gain an edge over opposition in ensuing local body polls.
Sources informed that Kelkar is upcoming local face of BJP in Thane and enjoys respect in general public. “Shiv Sena knows that damaging his image would damage BJP’s prospects in upcoming TMC elections,” added a source.
However Additional Municipal Commissioner Sunil Chavan refuted the charges, saying the action has no political intentions. “The anti-encroachment drive was actually against illegal garages, used car showrooms which park their vehicles and hotels, especially ladies bar where the customers generally keep their vehicles parked on the road side for much longer time,” he told Maharashtra Today.