Mumbai: Some city corporators are apparently getting paranoid over assassination attempts by citizens. They have shown enterprise in finding a solution to deal with this `fear`-- free gun training. Never mind that the citizenry prefers to vote them out rather than bump them off.
"Being in the public light makes us and our families vulnerable," explains Shiv Sena corporator Madhukar Dalvi about why he has sought free training for corporators and their family members at the Maharashtra Rifle Association`s Worli range. The matter will come up before the general body of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Tuesday. "We are custodians of the municipal corporation, and like security guards, we deserve to be trained in shooting," Dalvi says.
Dalvi`s word `free` will be the refrain of corporators at the general body meet. Among the demands for freebies will be toll-free rides on the Bandra-Worli sea link, and train and bus passes.
The sea link point will be raised by BJP corporator Dnyanmurti Sharma, who recently discovered to his chagrin that MPs and MLAs were exempt from paying toll on the bridge.
"We work for the city`s development. We should be exempted from the toll too," Sharma says, justifying the demand. "Suburban corporators often need to travel to the civic headquarters to attend meetings and discuss with senior officials grievances aired by people in their wards."
One may point out that precisely for this purpose the BMC issues local train passes to the corporators. But such little facts are unlikely to deter Sharma at the meeting. The corporators had last made a pitch for free private medical cover and AC bus passes, but the BMC refused on grounds that the civic substitutes were just fine.