Shiv Sena heavyweight and corporator from Byculla - Yashwant Jadhav was re-elected as the chairperson for the standing committee, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday. The Standing Committee is the BMC's highest decision-making body.
Jadhav, the Sena incumbent retained his position as Standing committee chairman by defeating Bhartiya Janata Party's Makrand Narvekar by seven votes.
The ruling party not only managed to grab the standing committee but also the post of Education committee chairperson. Sena corporator from Gorai, Sandhya Vipul Doshi was elected as the chairperson of the Education committee, by defeating BJP candidate Surekha Patil.
Jadhav who had been the incumbent chairperson had retained his post by defeating senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator and standing committee member, Makarand Narwekar - Corporator from Colaba.
Jadhav is taking forward the legacy of other Sena leaders like Ravindra Waikar and Rahul Shewale, who are among few of the leaders who have served as standing committee chairman multiple times but getting re-elected.
Voting for the post of chairpersons for the post of standing and education committee was held at the BMC on Monday. In both, the seats Sena emerged victorious. This happed after Sena's ally in the state government Congress withdrew their candidates in the Mumbai civic body in the last minute to not disappoint their Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) ally.
However, Congress cited that they didn't have enough numbers for electing their own chairperson.
Meanwhile, for the first time in the past two decades, BJP fielded its candidates against its former saffron ally and the ruling party in BMC Shiv Sena.
"Neither did we vote for Sena nor did we want the BJP to come to power either. Being the opposition party in the BMC, we chose to remain neutral" Ravi Raja, senior Congress corporator and Leader of the Party (LoP) in BMC told the Free Press Journal.
"We had to withdraw because we didn't have enough numbers to have our own chairperson, on the other hand, both NCP and Samajwadi Party (SP) had supported the Sena candidate" Asif Zakaria, senior Congress Corporator told Free Press Journal. Zakaria had submitted his nomination for the post of chairperson
Meanwhile, BJP blamed Congress for supporting the Sena indirectly by withdrawing its candidate in the last minute.
"Congress claims to be the opposition party but here they have indirectly supported the Sena which has filled the BMC with corruption. They don't have any moral responsibility of their post and intends to augment the MVA alliance in the BMC as well" stated Vinod Mishra, BJP corporator from Malad and the party's group leader in the civic body.
Sources in the BMC informed that both Congress and BJP were in talks of cross-voting but the negotiations fell through after the two parties could not decide a common contender for the post. "There is only one post in each committee and neither Congress nor BJP wanted to step down for the post, which is why talks didn't go further from there," said a senior Corporator.
Elections for the post of chairperson for the BMC improvements committee and BEST committee is scheduled on Tuesday.