Elections for the civic standing committee chairman's post on Wednesday saw intense political lobbying.
According to sources in the Shiv Sena and the Opposition, the National Congress Party (NCP) had elaborate plans to topple Sena’s hold over the civic body. The standing committee chairman’s post has been with the Sena for a decade.
NCP sources said even Samajwadi Party (SP) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had pledged its support. The only thorn in its flesh was Akhil Bhartiya Sena (ABS) with one member in the committee.
The 27-member standing committee has a Sena-BJP majority with 14 members, including ABS. The Opposition has 13 members, including those from MNS and SP.
“Both MNS and SP had agreed to vote for us, if we could get the ABS on our side,” said an NCP corporator who did not wish to be identified.
A Sena corporator on condition of anonymity, said: “We knew that Congress-NCP were trying to get ABS on their side, and so worked our own tricks.”
Sena corporator, Rahul Shewale, who was re-elected to the post of civic standing committee chairman, claimed, “NCP candidate Niyaz Vanu indulged in horse-trading and offered money to the ABS corporator."
Vanu said: “If I had indulged in horse-trading then I should have been the chairman.”
Pointing to the ruling Sena-BJP alliance, Congress corporator Sameer Desai said: “There has been horse-trading here.”
Senior Sena leaders alleged that the Opposition tried to ensure that the education committee chairman, a BJP corporator, was not allowed to vote.
“We realised that the state was planning to declare the BJP corporator’s vote as invalid because he heads the education committee. It wa