Even after a lacklustre performance as the civic standing committee chairman, Shiv Sena candidate Rahul Shewale was elected for the post for the second term on Wednesday.
The win was expected because there was margin of three votes between Shewale and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate Niyaz Vanu.
At 39, Shewale, corporator from Trombay, is the youngest standing committee chairman.
Winning the civic standing committee chairman’s post was crucial for all parties because the elected head would then implement the party’s agenda in the run-up to the civic elections to be held early next year. The post is considered a vital seat of power, second to the mayor.
The standing committee is the most important committee in the municipal corporation because it sanctions development projects and also controls the treasury that has a budget of Rs21,000 crore.
Of the 27 members in the standing committee, 25 voted.
While Mangesh Sangle, group leader of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena didn’t cast his vote, Shazia Azmi, group leader of Samajwadi Party, didn’t turn up.
The Sena bagged 14 votes, including that of Akhil Bharatiya Sena corporator Vandana Gawli and Independent corporator from Juhu Adolf Dsouza.
Senior corporators said it was a close fight between Sena MLA Ravindra Waikar and Shewale for the post. Waikar has been the chairman of the committee for four terms, but he had recently upset several corporators after complaining about them to party executive president Uddhav Thackeray. Sena corporators then decided to back Shewale.
In his speech, Shewale said this term, too, he will focus on increasing revenue generated by octroi, ensure uninterrupted water supply and improve health services.
Bharatiya Janata Party candidate and former deputy mayor Vinod Ghedia was elected as chairperson of the civic education committee after defeating Congress corporator Avatarsingh Sokhi.