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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

Shiv Sena retains control over BMC, Kishori Pednekar to be Mumbai’s Mayor

Shiv Sena’s Kishori Pednekar, 56, and Suhas Wadkar, 44, are the only ones to file nominations for elections to the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor, respectively. The election was scheduled to be held on November 22.

mumbai Updated: Nov 18, 2019 20:22 IST
Mehul Thakkar
Mehul Thakkar
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Shiv Sena’s Kishori Pednekar, 56, the only one to file nominations for the mayoral contest scheduled for November 22, is expected to be elected opposed.
Shiv Sena’s Kishori Pednekar, 56, the only one to file nominations for the mayoral contest scheduled for November 22, is expected to be elected opposed. (Kishori Pednekar/Twitter)
         

Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena is set to retain control over the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) after the Bharatiya Janata Party dropped out of the race because it does not have the numbers.

Shiv Sena’s Kishori Pednekar, 56, and Suhas Wadkar, 44, are the only ones to file nominations for elections to the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor, respectively. The election was scheduled to be held on November 22.

The BJP was reported to have attempted to reach out to the Congress for support in the 227-seat corporation counted as Asia’s richest civic body with a budget of Rs 30,000 crore for this financial year. Congress leader Ravi Raja told HT on Sunday that he had turned down the suggestion.

The Sena, which has held the Mayor’s post uninterrupted from 1996, had struggled to continue its hold on the civic body after it fell short of the majority mark of 114 in the 2017 BMC elections. The Sena had won 84 seats, the BJP was a close second with 82. The Sena eventually got the Mayor’s post with outside support of the BJP.

But over the next two years, the Sena inducted 7 Maharashtra Navnirman Sena corporators to bolster its strength to 94. The BJP comes next with 83 corporators, Congress (29), Nationalist Congress Party (8), Samajwadi Party (6), Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (1) and All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (2).

Ravi Raja of the Congress, who was also the leader of opposition in the corporation, said his party’s decision not to field a candidate should not be interpreted to imply support for the Sena.

“We do not have numbers and hence we have not put any candidate for both mayor and deputy mayor posts in BMC,” Ravi Raja said. “This doesn’t mean we have supported any party but we didn’t put candidates because we did not have the numbers,” he added.

Nationalist Congress Party corporator Rakhi Jadhav said her party did not put up a candidate because it or alliance partner Congress did not have the numbers to win.