Shiv Sena’s Vishwanath Mahadeshwar was formally elected as BMC new mayor on Wednesday.
Mahadeshwar received 171 votes with 218 out of 227 corporators participating in the voting procedure with the help of BJP. Sixteen corporators abstained from voting while eight corporators were absent from the meeting and one was not present inside the civic hall at the time of voting.
Shiv Sena has 84 corporators of its own and was supported by five independents. The BJP has 82 corporators in the house. This adds up to 171. The MNS has seven corporators who abstained, while the NCP’s nine and the SP’s two corporators remained neutral.
Mahadeshwar, a three-time corporator from Bandra was the Principal of Raje Sambhaji Junior college. He has been a member of the education committee in one of his earlier terms.
His last term had ended abruptly after an intense court battle over the validity of his caste certificate. This time he has won from a non-reserved ward.
However, controversies are still looming large. At least two petitions have been filed against him by opposition candidates. One petition raises fingers that he is a beneficiary of the corporation, as his junior college received funds from the corporation’s education department. The other petition has raised questions on his residence that is claimed to be a rented property.
Shiv Sena’s Hemangi Worlikar was elected as the deputy mayor of the city. This is the first time that both the posts have gone to the Shiv Sena, which has won the mayor’s crown for the fifth term in row.
Despite a show of unison, the tension was palpable between the BJP and the Shiv Sena corporators.