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Municipal Elections

Municipal Elections

In the municipal elections of Maharashtra, the BJP’s gains were spectacular. It was saffron all over. It swept Nagpur, Nashik and Pune and was behind the Shiv Sena in Mumbai metro and Thane. The Shiv Sena, which had been controlling Mumbai for more than three decades, could not get an absolute majority this time with the BJP breathing down its neck. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, with his electrifying campaign established his popularity beyond doubt. Both NCP and the Congress had to eat crow.

The bitter fight between the BJP and the Shiv Sena prior to the elections notwithstanding, the BJP conceded the posts of Mayor and the Deputy Mayor to Shiv Sena without contest lest its coalition in the state and in the Centre gets jeopardised. 

The Municipal Commissioner from the IAS cadre and, not the Mayor, would exercise the real power in the corporation. The Commissioner is appointed by the state government.

The Mumbai Corporation is the wealthiest of all such civic bodies in India. But managing the Maximum City with a large contingent of migrant labour has been complex. There has been widespread corruption. The emergence of BJP with much larger numbers in the council and with the clean image of Modi and Fadnavis, there are expectations of a much cleaner administration.

 

BSE creates history

The initial public offer (IPO) of BSE Ltd., the first by a domestic stock exchange, got oversubscribed 51 times. The scrip was listed at the NSE at Rs 1085, with a 35 per cent premium over the issue price. The Bombay Stock Exchange was started under a banyan tree as an association of brokers towards the end of the 19th century. It grew steadily to become the spokesman and image of capital market in India. The Sensex has become a barometer for all investors.

For decades, the brokers owned the exchange. But with ownership resting with management, professionalism was at risk. When complaints of insider trading flew thick, the board was re-constituted with brokers removed from executive functions. I was appointed chairman of a new board with experts from banking, industry, brokers and the government, assisted and directed by SEBI. Elaborate care was bestowed on various aspects of management on the transformation into a corporate unit. 

The conversion of the BSE as an association into BSE Ltd. was achieved within two years.

- S Jambunathan, IAS (Retd)

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