Maharashtra cabinet scraps MVA govt’s decision to increase number of wards in Mumbai

The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Uddhav Thackeray last year increased the number of BMC wards from 227 to 236

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The Maharashtra cabinet led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday reversed the previous MVA government’s decision to increase the number of municipal wards in Mumbai from 227 to 236, an official release said.

The coming elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be held as per the old ward structure of 2017, it added.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Uddhav Thackeray last year increased the number of BMC wards from 227 to 236.

But at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Shinde, who toppled the Thackeray government in June by rebelling against Thackeray, rolled back the decision.

The BMC, thus, will have 227 wards as before.

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Congress leader Milind Deora welcomed the decision, saying it was a big victory for his party and the people of Mumbai.

“The Maharashtra government has nullified the brazenly undemocratic ward-wise delimitation orchestrated by Shiv Sena. It was an insult to MVA’s coalition dharma as well as to ordinary Mumbaikars,” the former MP tweeted.

Last month he had written to chief minister Shinde, seeking scrapping of the new ward system.

The statement from the Chief Minister’s Office, meanwhile, also said that the number of corporators in the other 26 municipal corporations in the state will be revised in proportion to population.

The minimum number of seats in a civic body with a population of three lakh to six lakh will be 65 and the maximum number will be 85, it said.

There will be an additional member/corporate for every 15,000 people in these cities.

Civic bodies with populations between six lakh to 12 lakh will have minimum 85 seats and maximum 115 seats. For every 20,000 voters, there will be one additional member.

For civic bodies with more than 12 lakh population, for every 40,000 people there will be an additional member.

In cities with population of more than 24 lakh, there will be an additional member for every 50,000 people.

In civic bodies with population of more than 30 lakh, there will be an additional member for every one lakh people.

The civic bodies with populations between 12 lakh to 24 lakh will have 115 to 151 seats, while those with populations of more than 24 lakh and up to 30 lakh will have a minimum 151 and maximum 161 members.

Civic bodies with more than 30 lakh population will have a minimum 161 and maximum 175 seats. The cabinet — currently comprising only Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis — on Wednesday also decided to amend the Maharashtra Zilla Parishad Act, 1961.

As per the amendment, Zilla Parishads will have a minimum 50 and maximum 75 seats.

At present, ZPs can have between 55 to 85 seats.

The decision was taken considering the declining population in rural areas, the official release said.

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