Women corporators will take the top jobs in at least four of eight municipal corporations, including Mumbai, in the financially significant Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). A draw of lots to fix reservations for mayoral posts was organised by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan-led Urban Development Department on Saturday.
In Mumbai, mayoral elections are scheduled for September 9. A woman corporator belonging to a Scheduled Caste (SC) would bag the top job. Women corporators from the general category will battle it out for the top post in neighbouring Mira Bhayander and Vasai Virar municipal corporations. In Ulhasnagar, the post would go a woman corporator hailing from other backward classes (OBC).
The SC reservation has narrowed down the race in Mumbai with Shiv Sena’s group leader in the Mumbai corporation, Trushna Vishwasrao, identifying Vikhroli’s Snehal Ambekar corporator and Parel’s Dr Bharti Bhavdani as the main contenders. Vishwasrao further confirmed that the party was debating whether its Sewri corporator Yamini Jadhav, who is an SC candidate but represents an open ward, could be considered for the race too.
Sources dais though the Shiv Sena was expected to win the mayor’s race in Mumbai with the majority enjoyed by Sena-BJP in the civic body, the Congress was considering names of Chembur’s Usha Kamble and Kherwadi-based Dr Priyatama Sawant as possible challengers. Party’s Mumbai chief Janardhan Chandurkar said, “A party meeting will be held soon to decide its candidate.”
Women corporators will have an equal chance to bag the top job in Thane, Kalyan Dombivali and Bhiwandi-Nizampur municipal corporations, with the post being reserved for the general category. In Navi Mumbai, the post has been reserved for a corporator, either male or female, hailing from the scheduled caste.
Besides the MMR, women corporators are guaranteed the top post in ten other cities in the state – Ahmednagar, Nanded, Chandrapur, Amravati, Akola (all reserved for women from the general category), Ulhasnagar, Parbhani, Kolhapur, Dhule (all reserved for women (OBC) and Solapur (woman (SC).
Among the remaining cities, the post has been reserved for the general category in Pune, Aurangabad, Malegaon, Sangli-Miraj and Jalgaon. It would go to an OBC corporator in Nagpur, Nashik and Latur, whereas a corporator hailing from the scheduled tribe will don the Mayor’s post for the next tenure in Pimpri-Chinchwad.
Besides Mumbai and Thane, seven other civic bodies are scheduled to witness mayoral elections between September and December. A mayor’s tenure is fixed for two-and-a-half years. The state government had earlier attempted to postpone mayoral polls for these cities citing approaching Assembly polls, but had to withdraw the move following court cases.