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SHIV SENA’S SHRADDHA KADAM IS THE NEW MUMBAI MAYOR

mayor-1Amid speculation that widespread dissension is brewing in the Shiv Sena municipal party, Matoshree passed the acid test in the Mumbai Mayor’s Election. Shiv Sena’s Shraddha Jadhav won the Mayoral polls held in MCGM HQ comfortably with 19 votes. The MCGM is currently under the Sena-BJP rule. When the mayoral polls were announced, political observers said that the Shiv Sena’s chances of retaining the coveted mayor’s post would be good only if the Samajwadi Party and the Raj Thackeray-led MNS choose to remain neutral in the city hall for the crucial election and they did. While the SP has a strength of seven corporators in the MCGM, the MNS’ tally is six. According to political observers, MNS party could not afford to openly back the Congress-NCP candidate and invite the Shiv Sena charge that Raj Thackeray is a Congress stooge. Polls apart, the Sena stint in the MCGM is riddled with problems. Uddhav Thackeray’s failure to accommodate the escalating aspirations of the second generation corporators has made matters difficult for the Sena in the MCGM. Sena corporators of MCGM inform that a small, powerful clique, led by Sunil Prabhu and Ravindra Waikar, keep the MCGM under firm control. The party bigwigs can’t think beyond the duo. The absence of eight to ten corporators at Balasaheb Thackeray’s closed-door conclave at the Sena Bhavan last week reflected the growing discontent in the Sena municipal party. The incident has set the alarm bells ringing at Matoshree. The loss of Mumbai mayoralty, close on the heels of a debilitating defeat in the recent assembly elections, would have been a body blow to the Shiv Sena. But Matoshree passed in this acid test as Shiv Sena’s Shraddha Jadhav was elected Mayor of Mumbai. 209 corporators were present for the elections. Shiv Sena’s Sharaddha Jadhav received 114 votes while Congress’ Presila Kadam – a staunch Narayan Rane loyalist received 95 votes. Seven corporators of various parties like Samajwadi party and independents boycotted the elections and the six corporators of MNS remained absent as a party meet was held at Dadar by MNS Chief Raj Thackarey. The MCGM, with a budget over Rs 19,000 crore, is crucial to the Shiv Sena’s hopes of retaining its clout in Mumbai after the Lok Sabha and Assembly poll setbacks. With bureau inputs, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.

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