Less than a year after she was appointed mayor, Shraddha Jadhav, has managed to rub some senior and influential corporators from her party, Shiv Sena, the wrong way.
These corporators have requested Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray to replace Jadhav.
The group against Jadhav comprises legislator and former standing committee chairman Ravindra Waikar, Leader of the civic House Sunil Prabhu, senior Corporator Yashodhar Phanse and BEST Committee Chairman Sanjay Potnis.
For nearly a decade, this group of Uddhav loyalists has been running the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The party’s top leaders consult them before taking any stand on civic issues. If any decisions are to be taken in the general body meeting through a vote, it is this group that gets instructions from Matoshree.
“It did not matter who the mayor was because the real power was with them,” a Sena corporator said. “However, things have started changing because Jadhav refuses to toe their line. She has begun exercising her power as mayor, which is why both the sides are now on collision course.”
Waikar and the others have told the party leadership that Jadhav has been claiming credit for work done by the BMC and wants to have her say in every lucrative decision.
The latest in the series of tiffs between Jadhav and her party colleagues was over the issue of open spaces in Juhu. “The mayor wrote to the municipal commissioner about letting the reserved plot public purpose to the Juhu Vile Parle Development residents’ association, while the party was against this,” said a Sena leader, requesting anonymity.
Jadhav’s opponents have told Uddhav that Jadhav’s style of working was causing them unwanted embarrassment and would make things difficult for the Sena in the run-up to the 2012 civic polls, sources said.
Jadhav, who was elected mayor in December 2009, refuted the allegations against her. “I don’t think any of the corporators have complaints against me. And even Uddhavji has never mentioned about any such complaints,” she said. Waikar, Prabhu, Phanse and Potnis refused to comment.
A senior corporator from a Western suburb said, “We have requested our party leader to change the mayoral candidate as soon as possible and have proposed a new name for the post.”
Senior Sena leaders refrained from commenting on the issue. “Uddhavji will take the final decision,” one of them said.