A tug of war between the ruling allies in the civic body — the Shiv Sena and BJP — is on the cards.
This is likely to happen over control of key civic committees that comes with their chairmanship.
The annual elections for the post of the chairpersons of key committees such as standing committee, improvements committee, education committee and BEST committee will be held in the first half of April and the tussle over it has already begun in the ruling camp.
The standing and education committee elections are scheduled on April 1, improvements committee on April 5 and BEST elections on April 9.
Corporators elect members of these committees at the beginning of their five-year tenure and the committees then elect their chairpersons every year.
The tussle within the alliance is essentially over the standing committee that has the power to sanction money and approve major civic projects. Sena has been ruling the committee for 10 years and wants to continue.
However, BJP wants to take advantage of the fact that the Sena is not strong politically and hence has staked claim on the committee.
Chairman Ravindra Waikar, from Sena, is stepping down at the end of the tenure as he was elected to the Assembly last year. Sena’s probable candidates for the post are senior corporators Mangesh Satamkar and Rahul Shewale.
“The BJP, since 10 years, has been demanding the standing committee, but they have had to settle for the others,” said a BJP corporator requesting anonymity, as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
Sources said, the BJP might demand the standing committee but might settle for the improvements committee in exchange for the BEST committee that is currently with the BJP along with the education committee.
The improvements committee that looks after civic properties and land is the second-most important committee as most of the policy decisions and property matters in Mumbai are taken there.
Chairman Shailesh Phanse has held the post for three years and chances are he might continue this year.
“The party is yet to decide on who will head which committee. And successors are yet to be short-listed,” said Waikar.
The BEST committee chairman is Dilip Patil, a BJP corporator and education committee chairman is Ram Barot.