Despite some aggressive public posturing immediately after the elections, the city Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to retain the same committees that it had held in the last civic general body’s term.
Although the BJP had demanded the mayor’s post and the all-important standing committee chairman from its ally after it upped its tally of seats from the 2007 civic polls, the Sena has managed to convince the party from holding any additional committees than it already had previously.
The BJP, however, believes that it has outsmarted the Sena in refusing the latter’s offer to take charge of the BEST committee.
With the bus fare and electricity tariff hike imminent, the BEST committee is finding no takers, with neither of the two parties wanting to head the committee when the unpopular decision is taken. Sena-BJP sources confirmed that the Sena had been trying to pass on the chairmanship of the committee, which it had held in the last civic body term, to the BJP.
Dilip Patel, BJP group leader in the civic body said, “The Sena has offered us the BEST committee. However, we have refused their offer because we have just two members in the committee, whereas the Sena has five. We have got the improvements committee.” The BJP insists that this is not a climb-down. “We fear that the MNS might make an issue out of the imminent hike that the BEST committee will have to approve of. Hence, we rather let the Sena handle the committee and take the blame for it.”
A senior Sena corporator, meanwhile, said, “We had been trying to get the BJP to take over the BEST committee. However, even if they have managed to avoid the committee, the moral victory for us lies in the fact that, in the end, the BJP got neither the post of the mayor, nor the standing committee chairman – both demands that it had been making.”
On Monday, the Sena’s Rahul Shewale, the current standing committee chairman, was re-nominated as the chairman of the committee, while the BJP nominated corporator Vitthal Kharatmol to the post of the civic education committee.
Sources said the BJP is likely to nominate senior corporator Dr Ram Barot as the civic improvements committee chairman, while the Sena is likely to nominate corporator Sanjay Ambole.