Officials say barring any unexpected coalition, in light of no majority, the party with the largest corporator tally will get to claim mayor's post
File picture of Uddhav Thackeray campaigning for former mayor Milind Vaidya
So it's more or less official: The next mayor of Asia's richest civic body should again be from the Shiv Sena unless the BJP manages a last minute turnaround or coalition. Officials from the civic body have clarified that if no party manages to get to the majority figure of 114 electoral seats to appoint the mayor, then the party with the maximum number of corporators can stake their claim.
To that end, the election to appoint the new mayor will be held on March 9, after the current house is dissolved to make way for the newly elected house to take over the BMC.
With 114 seats up for grabs, as of now, the Sena leads the charge with 88 seats in its kitty, followed closely by BJP with 82 seats. The remaining seats were taken up by Congress (31), NCP (9), MNS (7), SP (6) and AIMIM (2).
A senior official from Municipal Secretary department said, "With 88 corporators, the Sena is leading contender for mayor's post. After parties announce their mayoral candidates, they will vote to elect the new mayor. If we go by existing equation then Sena's candidate will win comfortably."
He went on to add, "Similarly, elections will be held to elect committee chairpersons and barring any teaming up between the other parties like BJP, Congress or NCP, they will also be ruled by Sena."
In the last week, NCP, Congress, AMIM and SP have all stated that they will not ally with either the Sena or the BJP, with only the MNS yet to openly say so.
Meanwhile, even Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has eluded the question and said, "I will reveal the party's stand on taking support from other parties at the right time."
However, the lack of majority will hit the city's development projects as in statutory committees like the Standing Committee, Improvement Committee and Education Committee, decisions will be stalled.
An official from the municipal corporation said, "The Sena will have its mayor and chairpersons in general body and committees, but in cases of conflict, they might not be able to clear it by themselves, as they does not have sufficient numbers."
Three-term corporator Ashish Chemburkar, former mayor Milind Vaidya, Mangesh Satamkar and Yashwant Jadhav have emerged as the lead contenders in the race for mayor. Incidentally, when Vaidya was mayor, Chemburkar headed the BEST Committee and Satamkar was Improvement and Education Committee chairperson.