Congress remains neutral, Shiv Sena corporator elected BEST panel head

Mumbai: With Congress maintaining a neutral stand for the second consecutive day, senior Shiv Sena corporator from Jogeshwari, Praveen Shinde, was elected as the chairperson for the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking committee.

Shinde defeated BJP corporator from Mulund, Prakash Gangadhare, by three votes. The post was earlier held by senior Sena corporator Anil Patankar. Shinde has been in the BEST committee for three years.

Speaking to the Free Press Journal, Shinde stated that augmenting the BEST fleet will be his topmost priority.

"BEST has a ridership of 30 lakh, while there are only 3,300 buses presently. The undertaking have leased MSRTC buses and my priority is to bring out a permanent solution as the BEST ridership is increasing day by day," Shinde stated.

"At the same time looking after the welfare of all the staffers will also be my concern," he added.

The 16 member BEST committee, constitute of seven Sena members, six members of the BJP, two members of the Congress and one NCP member.

Congress withdrew its candidate before the election and one vote of each BJP and NCP got disqualified.

"Congress could have voted for themselves, but they chose to stay neutral when it came to restrict their MVA ally Sena," stated BJP corporator and group leader in BMC, Vinod Mishra.

Congress Leader of Party (LoP) Ravi Raja stated that his party chose to stay neutral as they didn't want BJP to win. Raja had filed his nomination for BEST chairman, which he later withdrew.

Meanwhile, sources in BMC stated that Sena will back Congress candidates for the upcoming ward committee elections.

"Elections for president of ward committee will take place next week, there we will be backing Congress as they have the numbers as most of these posts are being presently held by BJP corporators," said a Sena corporator.

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