Mumbai mayor ‘threatens’ to suspend official following crackdown on hawkers
An audio clip that is going viral has landed Mumbai Mayor and Shiv Sena leader Vishwanath Mahadeshwar in a controversy. The clip purportedly contains audio of Mahadeshwar threatening to suspend an official. The officer was allegedly threatened with suspension after he initiated action against licensed hawkers in Bandra West.
17 licensed stalls were demolished by officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Thursday. The conversation is said to have taken place after the stalls were demolished. The 1.28 minutes audio clip was extensively shared on via Whatsapp and other mass messaging services after which the local media reported about it.
The Mayor is said to have pulled up an official for the demolition after a delegation of hawkers met him seeking help. Despite the official conveying to the Mayor that the hawkers had violated the terms of the licence as well as the order of the Bombay High Court, he threatened them with suspension. "You also don't follow the procedure and you should be suspended," Vishwanath Mahadeshwar is purportedly heard saying in the clip.
Not stopping at that the Mayor is said to have asked officials if the hawkers had been targetted for their religion. As usual, the Shiv Sena has come to the defence of its leader and called for an inquiry on why action was initiated against licenced hawkers. The demolition was initiated, according to corporation officials, after an inspection was carried out to ascertain the violations.