15 May, 2021

No Room For Change

A move to alter the rent act fires passions in the crowded metro

No Room For Change

IN Mumbai, a move to change the existing Rent Act is tantamount to inviting instant political death. When the Supreme Court, ruling on a petition filed by the Property Owners' Association, asked the state government to frame a new legislation before the term of the existing Bombay Rent Act expires on March 31, it was like handing out a sentence.

The state's move will affect the lives of 2.5 million of the city's tenants. And reactions have been getting stronger as the deadline approaches—petitions have been mounting before the Supreme Court seeking a review of its decision and a spate of meetings, protests as well as a bandh.

The move, according to analysts, has already cost the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP combine two seats in Parliament—South Mumbai and Mumbai North Central. A third, Mumbai South Central, which it won by a mere 153-vote margin, has been challenged. "The Opposition has made a lot of hue and cry about the (Supreme Court) judgement.... This became an election issue.... The Opposition has alleged that the tenants...

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