Excise Minister Ganesh Naik’s 23-year-old nephew, Sagar, is all set to be Navi Mumbai’s mayor.
Sagar filed his nomination papers on Wednesday and with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) having won a comfortable majority in the recently held municipal elections, his election to the post is a mere formality.
Hindustan Times had reported in April that Sagar was likely to take over as mayor. Son of sitting corporator, Dnyaneshwar Naik, Ganesh Naik’s younger brother, Sagar will probably be one of the country’s youngest mayors. He was elected unopposed in the civic elections from Khairane ward of Koparkhairane, a traditional Naik bastion. Naik’s younger son, Sandeep represented the ward before he was elected to the state Legislature.
Naik’s older son, Sanjeev, was the first mayor of Navi Mumbai in 1995. He occupied office for a year and was the youngest mayor in the country in his time.
Vashi corporator and former Deputy Mayor, Bharat Nakhate, filed his nomination papers for the deputy mayor’s post.
Sagar did not speak to journalists, but Shashikant Birajdar, the present Deputy Mayor and a close associate of the Naiks said, “All 55 of our corporators held a meeting and unanimously decided on Sagar’s name.”
He added that the party high command had decided on Sagar’s name.
“Ganesh Naik did not interfere,” he said adding that a young city like Navi Mumbai needed a young mayor.
“Sagar will have the guidance of Ganesh Naik and the people of Navi Mumbai who have given a very clear verdict in Naik’s favour,” Birajdar said.
From the Shiv Sena, Airoli corporator Jagdish Gavte and Satish Ramane of Nerul filed their papers for the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor. There were no nominations from the Congress.
The NCP has, meanwhile, announced that Vashi corporator Vitthal More, who moved to the NCP from the Sena before to the elections, will be the leader of the civic house.