Game of mayoral throne: NCP, Congress win in Navi Mumbai
Lack of BJP support for Shiv Sena makes it easy for NCP, Cong to bag posts of mayor, deputy mayor in Navi Mumbaimumbai Updated: Nov 10, 2017 00:23 IST
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)-Congress alliance retained power in the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) by comfortably bagging the posts of mayor and deputy mayor in the election held on Thursday.
This comes despite the rebellion by a section of Congress corporators, who fielded a rebel candidate for the post of deputy mayor. Significantly, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) remained neutral and did not support the Shiv Sena’s spirited bid to unseat the Congress-NCP alliance. The victory comes as a boost for NCP strongman Ganesh Naik.
Sources said NCP chief Sharad Pawar and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis got together to facilitate the win. Fadnavis ensured that the BJP did not support the Sena. “Pawarsaheb played an important role,” said NCP chief Sunil Tatkare.
In the mayoral polls, NCP’s Jaywant Sutar trounced Sena’s Somnath Waskar by 29 votes. Sutar got 67 votes while his opponent got 38. “I will work to provide basic facilities to Navi Mumbai residents,” said Sutar.
In the deputy mayor elections, three Congress corporators voted against official candidate Mandakini Mhatre, but she won by 26 votes, defeating the Sena’s Dwarkanath Bhoir.
In the Navi Mumbai civic house of 111 members, 52 belong to the NCP. They are supported by 10 Congress and five independent corporators. In the Opposition, the Sena has 38 members, while the BJP has six.
Till recently, Sena strongman Vijay Chaugule was set to contest the Mayoral polls and was in touch with a section of the Congress and independent corporators. However, the BJP’s decision to not support the Sena derailed his plans and he did not contest.
The Sena’s claims that BJP ministers are corruption allegedly angered the party, which thus decided against supporting the Sena. Six of seven elected representatives of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in the Mumbai civic body recently defected to the Shiv Sena, further angering the BJP.