Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, a three-time corporator has become 76th mayor of Mumbai. The mayoral election turned out to be a cakewalk for the Shiv Sena after its ally-turned-rival BJP decided not to contest. However, the problems are not over for Mahadeshwar and his party. They are probably just starting.
To begin with, Mahadeshwar is facing allegations of occupying a flat where he is staying currently by making its owner Gajanan Pandit, a retired BMC employee, sell it to him forcibly. Mahendra Pawar, an independent candidate contesting opposite Mahadeshwar has taken the matter to court. Further, a Congress leader Dharmesh Vyas has alleged that Mahadeshwar has been drawing salary from a government-aided college even during the period when he was contesting election. Mahadeshwar is principal of the college. Though the Shiv Sena has denied both the allegations, the legal battle would decide Mahadeshwar’s fate.
On the political front, he will have to face an aggressive BJP, which has just two members less than Sena in the civic house. The Sena has 84 while the BJP has 82 members. The next two years are likely to witness constant tussle between the Shiv Sena and the BJP in the civic house with the latter trying to corner the ruling party over various issues. An indication of the same was visible on Tuesday when BJP legislators in state Assembly demanded investigation into the roads scam by a special investigation team. Since the Sena doesn’t have a clear majority, it will have to cobble up numbers every time when the civic house would be passing any proposals or resolutions. It will have to get BJP on board or woo smaller parties like MNS and NCP to get its proposals passed.
Both Mahadeshwar and the Shiv Sena will have to tread cautiously and at the same time will have to try and fulfil expectations from the citizens which seems to be a tough job as of now.