Sunil Prabhu: from personal assistant to city's likely mayor
Most politicians would describe 42-year-old Sunil Prabhu, who is all set to be elected as Mumbai's next mayor, as a robust and vocal politician, and a favourite with corporators across parties for his accessibility and friendly nature.
Prabhu, a Shiv Sena corporator, filed his nomination for the mayor's post on Monday. The elections are scheduled to be held on March 9. The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Mohan Mithbaokar (64) has filed his nomination for the post of deputy mayor.
Prabhu has been voted best orator in the civic house more than once, and is known for his powerful speeches, especially on financial issues.
As a leader of the house in the BMC for the past six years, and standing committee chairman for a few months, Prabhu has been at the forefront of many issues - related to the security deposit paid by contractors, withdrawing the clean-up marshals scheme, and criticising the BMC's financial audit patterns.
A dedicated Shiv Sainik from his youth and a favourite at Sena Bhavan (the Sena headquarters), Prabhu started off as a personal assistant to senior Sena leader Gajanan Kirtikar from 1992 to 1997. It was on Kirtikar's insistence that he was given a ticket to fight the civic elections from Aarey Colony in 1997. Subsequently, he went on to win three civic elections.
However, things soured between him and Kirtikar when the party preferred him over his mentor for a legislative assembly ticket in 2009 for the Dindoshi seat. Despite Dindoshi being a Sena-dominated area. Prabhu lost the election to Rajhans Singh of the Congress, reportedly because of his rift with Kirtikar.
However this failure did not stop him from contesting the civic elections last month.
Mohan Mithbaokar, a BJP veteran who has filed his nomination for the post of deputy mayor, is a senior corporator in the BMC and has been representing the Eksar area in Borivli for the past 20 years. This is his fifth consecutive win in the civic elections.
The Sena-BJP-RPI combine needs 114 votes to win the election in the 227-member house. The Sena has 75 seats, the BJP 31 and the RPI 1.