With the Bharatiya Janata Party quitting the race, the Shiv Sena has bagged the prestigious posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the country’s richest and biggest civic body, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), an official said.
While senior leader Kishori K. Pednekar (56), will be the new Mayor, Suhas C. Wadkar will be the new Deputy Mayor of the country’s commercial capital.
“Only one candidate each had filed their nomination papers till the closing hours today (Monday). This means they will be declared unopposed to their respective posts,” a top official told IANS, requesting anonymity.
Present at the nominations filing were outgoing Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar and Deputy Mayor Hemangi Worlikar, both from the Sena.
The official declaration is expected to be made on November 22, the date of the election for the BMC and other cities in the state for the two posts, said the official.
The unchallenged elections became possible after the BJP – which is targeting the post of Maharashtra Chief Minister – opted out of the race, hoping to mollify its former ally Shiv Sena.
“We are in sufficient strength in the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) but we don’t have the required numbers. We will not enter into an illegitimate alliance with opposing ideologies. But, in 2022, we shall win the Mumbai Mayor post on our strength and numbers,” former BJP minister Ashish Shelar said.
Besides, the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party, which are engaged in finalising their alliance at the state and national levels with the Sena, also decided against fielding any candidates for the two posts, leaving the field open for the Sena nominees to sail through.
In 2017, the former allies BJP-Sena, had bitterly fought the civic elections separately but later the BJP had supported the Sena nominee for Mayor, educationist Vishwanath Mahadeshwar.
The BMC has a total strength of 227 municipal corporators who elect a Mayor, as per a lottery system by the state government.