Come March 9, Mumbai will get a new mayor. After registering a thumping victory over the Congress-NCP alliance, the Shiv Sena is set to install it's mayor in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for the ninth time in a row.
This time, the likelihood of the city getting a male mayor is high The city had two women mayors over the last five years owing to reservations, and this time, the post is under the open category. While the mayoral elections will be held on March 9, the list of will be finalised by March 5, said sources in the civic body.
Predictably, lobbying has already begun in the Sena for the post. The top contenders include current leader of the house Sunil Prabhu, standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale, Andheri corporator and former improvements committee chairman Yashodhar Phanse and Surendra Bagalkar, a third-time corporator.
Some women candidates are also reportedly in the fray. Sources said current mayor Shraddha Jadhav has shown interest in retaining the post. However, going by her controversial tenure, the party is unlikely to repeat her as mayor. Another woman corporator from Antop Hill, Krishna Vishwasrao, is said to be in the contention, in case the party decides to put up a woman Mayor yet again.
"While selecting the next mayor, there are quite a few considerations. We would want someone young and educated to represent the city. However, some political considerations will have to be made, since we would not like any dissent among corporators because of an inappropriate choice," said a Sena leader, who did not wish to be named.
The mayor's post, though largely ceremonial, is considered to be one of prestige. The clout the post brings with it is a major reason why corporators lobby hard for the post.