The saffron allies, while they are fighting over who will be Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, have entered into another tiff over who will be the city’s next Mayor.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is now eyeing the Mayor’s post because it performed better than the Shiv Sena in Mumbai in the state elections. The BJP won five Assembly seats in Mumbai while the Sena won four.
“We have yet to have a discussion over the Mayor’s seat. But the BJP is keeping its options open and will be staking claim over the post,” said the BJP’s leader in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Ashish Shelar who is an aspirant for the mayoral post.
Ravindra Waikar, recently elected Sena Member of Legislative Assembly from Jogeshwari and chairman of the BMC’s standing committee ruled giving in to the BJP’s demand. The cash-rich Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is the only institution the Sena rules
“We have more seats in the civic body and the Mayor will be from the Shiv Sena. Once we are clear on the reservation status, we will elect the new mayor,” he said.
His party has 86 corporators while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 29.
The Sena, therefore, took over the Mayor’s seat giving the deputy Mayor’s post to the BJP.
Sena leaders see the BJP’s demand as a tactic by the party to get the chairmanship of the standing committee.
The party is also in a dilemma over whom it should appoint as Mayor.
The Mayor will be the face of the Sena for the next two and half years, and will have to be someone who will lead the party to victory in the civic elections in February 2012.
The present Mayor, Dr Shubha Raul was elected to office — the seat was reserved for a woman candidate from the Other Backward Classes — in March 2007.
Raul completed her term of two and half years on September 10 but got a two-month extension until November 10 because of the election code of conduct.
“We will start the process of electing the Mayor once the government is in place. We may go for a lottery system to decide if it will be a reserved or an open seat,” said Waikar.