After capturing the Mayor’s seat in Mumbai in a dramatic poll earlier this week, the Shiv Sena has managed to retain the mayor’s post at the Thane Municipal Corporation too.
Three-time Sena corporator Ashok Vaity (41) was elected mayor with 63 votes on Thursday. Vaity defeated Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Najib Mulla (32), who managed to bag one vote despite the NCP boycotting the elections.
The saffron party has occupied the mayor’s post in Thane since 1993.
The NCP boycotted the elections because there was an error in the election agenda, which stated that the next mayor would be appointed for a period of two and a half years when the term of the general body expires in February 2012.
“This election is against the law as the election officer didn’t follow the proper procedure,” said Mulla, who represents Rabodi. “We will file a suit against these invalid elections.”
Vaity who is in the construction business also managed to get two Maharashtra Navnirman Sena votes.
He was first elected to the corporation in 1997. During his second term in 2002, he was elected deputy mayor and is the only ex-deputy mayor to be elected mayor.
Manoj Lase, who was elected deputy mayor, is also a Sena corporator.
Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray was in Thane to congratulate his workers. “I am happy with the victory. None of our workers are unhappy or have left the party,” Uddhav said. “Those who wish to leave can do so.”
The Sena will have to work hard to calm down disgruntled Sena corporators like Vilas Samant and others who felt that they were not getting their due. Independent Mumbra corporator and Sena’s Vidhan Sabha candidate Rajan Kine and his wife Anita have also decided to severe ties with the Sena.
Vaity said that he wants to give Thane a makeover keeping people’s issues in mind.
“I will focus on solving water problems, strengthening the municipal transport system and slum rehabilitation,” said Vaity. “We will also not allow any illegal constructions.”