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Flip Flops In BMC Mars City Administration In Mumbai

With elections to the coveted Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) round the corner, the media management has assumed critical proportions. On December 19, administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal issued an official diktat barring officials below the rank of additional municipal commissioners, from speaking to the media. However the diktat was withdrawn within a day reportedly with damage control ordered from none other than the chief minister’s office. The third day saw another fresh order, this time department heads could speak to the media but only with the permission of their superiors. All this is meant to ensure positive media coverage, retain its good image and nip fake news, the order explains. The ruling dispensation clearly wants the works of the BMC, especially its pet projects, to be highlighted in the media in the run-up to the elections. A media clampdown means less scope for tom-tomming civic works as soft political campaigning – a major handicap. Flip flops in decision making have come to become a hallmark of the BMC’s functioning ever since the formation of the new government led by Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis. Similarly, transfers of officials have also been withdrawn or changed, within 24 hours at times. “Fault lines within the new government have led to abrupt U-turns, creating chaos and confusion. The administrator’s failure to stand firm for the interest of the city and succumbing to random pressures, has become a bane of our city,” observes Ravi Raja, Congress’ ex- opposition leader in BMC.