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Sena pitches candidate for mayor’s post as BJP settles for deputy mayor yet again

Shiv Sena nominated its current leader of the House as well as the party group leader Sunil Prabhu as its mayoral candidate,while the BJP was once again given the post of deputy mayor.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | March 6, 2012 12:59:19 am

Not paying heed to ally BJP’s demand for the post of mayor,the Shiv Sena on Monday nominated its current leader of the House as well as the party group leader Sunil Prabhu as its mayoral candidate,while the BJP was once again given the post of deputy mayor.

Mohan Mithbawkar,three-time BJP corporator from ward 15 in Borivali (west),filed his nomination for the post of deputy mayor. Interestingly,despite the presence of 120 women corporators in the newly elected House,no woman has been nominated as a candidate for mayor or deputy mayor or to the leadership of a political party in the BMC.

The ruling saffron alliance is set to win mayoral and deputy mayoral elections comfortably since it crossed the simple majority mark of 114 with the support of as many as 11 Independents. “We are confident of at least 120 votes of the total 227,” said Prabhu.

The Congress will field its senior corporator Sunil More as the mayoral candidate,while NCP will field two-time corporator Harun Khan against Mithbawkar for the post of deputy mayor.

The BJP,which has also been demanding the chairmanship of the standing committee and BEST committee for at least one year during the five-year term,will have to wait for that too. Current standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale,who will serve his third term as Shiv Sena corporator from Mankhurd,was once again named the chairman of the committee for at least the next year.

Three-time corporator from Andheri (west) and former chairman of the improvements committee,Yashodhar Phanse,will take over from Prabhu as the next leader of the BMC general body and the group leader for the Shiv Sena. At the same time,former BEST chairman,Dilip Patel,who will serve his fourth term as corporator,will replace Ashish Shelar as the group leader for BJP.

Suresh Koparkar,senior corporator from Bhandup,and Dhananjay Pisal,husband of outgoing corporator Bharati Pisal,will be named as the group leader of Congress (leader of Opposition) and leader of NCP,respectively. Dilip Lande,husband of outgoing MNS corporator Shaila Lande,is most likely to be named the group leader of MNS. Even though it has 28 corporators,MNS’s decision on whom to vote for in the mayoral elections will not matter much.

Despite being turned down by the Sena,BJP city unit chief Raj Purohit said they are confident of bagging chairmanship of the standing committee,BEST committee and the post of mayor at least once during the next five years. “No alliance in this city has enjoyed such a cordial relationship as between the Sena and BJP and we will not spoil it over these matters. Having said that,we are also confident that our ally will give us a fair chance at least once during the entire term. Two and a half years is the maximum tenure period for the post of mayor and it can be cut down to accommodate us,” he said.

Asked whether the BJP will go back on its earlier claim of not taking back any of its rebels and let in Jyoti Alvani,winning corporator and wife of former BJP general secretary Parag Alvani,Purohit added that if Alvani expresses interest in rejoining,the party will consider. “As of now,no formal communication has been received from her. Moreover,we already have the desired strength in the House,” he said.

Like the past two years,the BJP is likely to get chairmanship of the improvements and education committee. A decision in this regard will be taken in the next few days.

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