A clean, beautiful, hygienic and safer Mumbai is what the city's new mayor dreams of. On Friday, Shiv Sena corporator Sunil Prabhu was elected as Mumbai's 72nd mayor while Mohan Mithbaokar of the BJP took charge as the deputy mayor of the city.
“My top priority will be to keep the city clean,” Prabhu said after getting elected. “I will conduct reviews and regular follow-ups to complete various water projects to supply sufficient clean water to the city,” he said. The new mayor also promised to conduct regular audits to ensure the city's roads remain pothole-free.
The Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI alliance gained a comfortable majority in the civic house of 227 by bagging 125 votes — 11 more than the votes needed for a simple majority. This would help the ruling alliance to function without any worry of instability.
Prabhu, a corporator from Goregaon, won the mayoral election by 60 votes. While the Sena-BJP-RPI have 107 seats in the civic house, the other 18 votes came from independents and small parties.
The deputy mayor got three votes less than the mayor. The shortfall was because of Sena corporator Trushna Vishwasrao and Sanjana Mungekar who cast invalid votes. In addition, Manoj Sansare, an independent candidate who voted for the Sena's mayoral candidate, left the house without voting in the elections for the deputy mayor's post.
Sunil More, the Congress candidate, got 65 votes — 52 from his own party and 13 from its partner NCP. The MNS boycotted the elections while the Samajwadi Party members abstained from voting though they were present in the civic house. MNS has 28 members while the SP has nine.
Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, along with wife Rashmi, sons Aditya and Tejas, personal assistant Milind Narvekar were present in the gallery during the election. After an official announced the winning candidate, all including Sena leader Manohar Joshi, RPI leader Ramdas Athavale, BJP leader Vinod Tawde came inside the house to congratulate the mayor.
From the sidelines
Citizen candidate supports Sena, gets seat in committee
Makarand Narwekar, an independent corporator from Colaba who was propped up by a local citizen's group, extended his support to the Shiv Sena-BJP combine. This, he did, not without any fruits of cooperation. The Sena-BJP has nominated him as a member to the statutory education committee.
Hindi or Marathi?
While almost every corporator voted in Marathi, the exception was BJP's Mahant Choudhary who declared that he would announce his vote in Hindi. Till the time the Sena realised the implications of Chaudhary's actions, the corporator had finished voting. Angry words were exchanged, but the Sena considered itself fortunate that its bete noir, the MNS, was not present in the house then. The incident seemed to have scarred Chaudhary, who spoke in Marathi the next time he stood up.