Palghar : Pravina Hitendra Thakur, wife of the Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA) president and Vasai MLA Hitendra Thakur, was officially declared as the winner and the first woman Mayor of the Vasai – Virar on Monday when she won hands down by 108 votes by defeating her competitor Kiran Chendvankar from the Shiv Sena who could manage only 6 votes.
Umesh Naik, a senior BVA leader, was elected as deputy mayor by defeating Swapnil Bandekar by a similar margin. Praful Patil, an Independent, was absent during the voting.
One could see only one color, yellow, the official color of the BVA, in the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC) house as all the BVA corporators (106) were clad in yellow head gear. The house erupted in a huge roar and there was an unstoppable banging of the desk when the Thane collector Ashok Shinde, overseeing the mayoral elections, declared Pravina Thakur as the Mayor.
Umesh Naik, one of the most experienced veterans of the BVA, was unanimously elected as deputy mayor taking into consideration his deep knowledge of the civic rules and regulations.
Since the saffron alliance had won 6 seats (Shiv Sena 5 and BJP 1) of the 115 seats in the recently concluded VVMC election they could manage only that many votes. Before the voting could began, Kiran Bhoir, the only BJP corporator raised objection to the huge presence of the BVA party workers in the house and requested Shinde that they move out for hassle-free elections. This set murmurs across the house and was considered as the beginning of the opposition by the saffron alliance.
While addressing the media the first woman Mayor said that her priority would be to make sure that Vasai – Virar is 100 per cent literate and women are more empowered. “All the citizens in your respective wards should avail all the facilities of the municipal corporation,” said MLA Hitendra Thakur, who was present for a rally post mayoral election, to BVA corporators.