Sunil Prabhu, 42, who started his career as a personal assistant to a senior Shiv Sena leader, is set to become Mum-bai's next mayor.
Prabhu is a three-term Shiv Sena corporator from Aarey Colony, Goregaon East. He filed his nomination on Monday even as a bitter tussle got underway among Maharashtra's prominent political parties to gain control of the civic bodies of Mumbai, Thane, Nashik and Pune.
The party that wins the mayoral election controls the civic body. The mayoral elections for 10 civic bodies that went to the polls on February 16 will be held over the next two weeks.
The Sena is confident of ruling the Mumbai civic body, but is struggling to retain power in neighbouring Thane.
Along with Prabhu's candidature, the Shiv Sena also nominated its corporator Rahul Shewale for the post of standing committee chairman in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corp-oration - ignoring alliance partner BJP's demand for posts of either mayor or standing committee chief.
Mumbai BJP chief Raj Puro-hit said on Monday: "We should get the post of mayor at least for one year. The Sena has 75 corporators, eight less than last time, while the BJP has 31, three more than in 2007. So we deserve some recognition."
In Thane, a Sena stronghold, Raj Thackeray's MNS is likely to play a crucial role in the mayoral polls to be held today. To add to the drama, a BJP corporator, Suhasini Lokhande, has gone missing. Alleging that the NCP had abducted her, the Sena-BJP alliance enforced a Thane bandh on Sunday.