USHA Dhore, better known as Mai Dhore, was on Friday elected the new mayor of Pimpri-Chinchwad. BJP corporator Tushar Hinge was elected the deputy mayor of the industrial city.
The election for the two posts was held at the headquarters of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC). Though the outcome was expected as the BJP enjoys a majority in the PCMC house, the party still tried to get its candidates elected unanimously. While BJP leaders succeeded in convincing opposition NCP candidates to withdraw from the race for the deputy mayor’s post, for the mayoral post, the NCP refused to withdraw its candidate Swati Kate.
When the election for the mayor’s post was held, Mai Dhore emerged the clear winner by a margin of 40 votes. She secured 81 votes and her rival Swati Kate won 41 votes.
“Mai Dhore was with the Congress and NCP before joining the BJP. These parties made Dhore corporator and gave her the posts of deputy mayor and standing committee chief. And now she is talking about crushing the very parties which made her big. This is why we decided against a unanimous election,” said NCP leader Sanjog Waghere.
NCP leaders claimed that at least 15 BJP corporators, who were earlier with the NCP, wanted to return to their parent party. “But we would have needed more than 15 corporators to win the mayor’s post. So, we asked the corporators to wait for some time,” said an NCP leader.
PCMC also saw the same altered political equations as the PMC, as the Sena corporators in the civic body voted for the NCP leader. The Congress, which had once ruled PCMC for two decades, does not have a single corporator in the civic body.
Sena House leader Rahul Kalate said late on Thursday, a whip was issued by Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, asking party corporators to vote for the NCP candidate. “We have nine corporators. Six of them voted while three were absent as they were not in town,” said Kalate. Lone MNS corporator Sachin Chikale also abstained from voting.
Mai Dhore has been elected from Old Sangvi area four times. Interacting with the media after being elected the mayor, Dhore said she will study the problems of the city and speak about her plans. “Let me first take charge, I will reveal my plans later,” she said.
Dhore said she will do everything possible to “enhance the reputation of the party”.
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