The saffron combine emerged victorious in the mayoral elections at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) headquarters on Tuesday with Snehal Ambekar (Parel), first-time corporator from Shiv Sena, being elected the Mayor of Mumbai and Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Alka Kelkar elected Deputy Mayor. Ambekar is the seventh woman and also the first dalit woman leader to be elected the mayor of the city. She is also the 75th mayor of Mumbai.
Crossing the 114-mark with ease, 42-year-old Ambekar garnered 121 votes. The 28 corporators from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and nine from Samajwadi Party (SP) decided to distance themselves from the elections. MNS had stayed away from mayoral elections even in 2012.
Of the 185 votes cast, 121 went to Ambekar and 64 votes to Congress candidate Dr Priyatama Sawant. In all, 227 corporators have been elected to the civic body.
The opposition leaders staged a walk-out during the deputy mayor elections after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray entered the premise to greet the new mayor. “If the leaders had asked the opposition for a gap between the two elections for their chief to meet the new mayor, we would have readily agreed. But no one can violate the proceedings of the House and come to greet the mayor when the elections under way. We will appeal to the municipal commissioner to hold a re-elections for the deputy mayor post,” said Opposition leader Devendra Amberkar from Congress.
With the Opposition boycotting the deputy mayor elections, Kelkar garnered all of the 121 votes cast on Tuesday.
A first-time corporator from Parel, Ambekar joined the Shiv Sena in 1996 at the instance of her husband Suryakant Ambekar, an influential man in the Sena. Though elected a councillor for the first time from Parel in 2012, Ambekar has no prior administrative experience.
In her inaugural speech at the BMC headquarters, Ambekar said issues related to women and their development, along with education, topped her priority list. “I will strive to meet the expectations of all the citizens of Mumbai and always aim to provide a clean, green and secure city to all the citizens,” she said.