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Shiv Sena decides to replace Rahul Shewale as standing committee chairman

Yashodhar Phanse filed his nomination for chairmanship of standing committee of BMC on Tuesday, succeeding four-time chairman Rahul Shewale

The Standing committee chairman of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Rahul Shewale, missed what could have been a record term of being chairman for five consecutive years. His nomination has been replaced by Yashodhar Phanse, who currently serves as the leader of the house in BMC.

Rahul Shewale of Shiv Sena, held the chairman’s position from 2010 to 2014
Rahul Shewale of Shiv Sena, held the chairman’s position from 2010 to 2014

Party sources said that a few corporators were upset over Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s decision of re-nominating Shewale, especially since he is also contesting from the Mumbai South Central constituency for the Lok Sabha elections. Before Shewale, Ravindra Waikar also held the post for four consecutive years, from 2006 to 2010. Shewale has held the chairman position from 2010 to 2014.

An important position
The standing committee is a crucial committee in the BMC that deals with all financial matters of the civic body, including clearing a budget of over R31,000 crore. Every proposal with more than R10-lakh budget has to get clearance from the committee.

Phanse (51), a three-time corporator from Andheri, filed his nomination for chairmanship on Tuesday. From the opposition, Bhomsingh Rathore of the Congress filed his nomination. The election is expected to be held on April 4. With 15 members in the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance in the standing committee, as opposed to 12 members in the opposition, Phanse is likely to become the next chairman.

One challenge that the Sena faces choosing one of its corporators to take over as leader of the house’. “The leader of the house has to lead ruling parties like BJP, ABS and independents, while also ‘managing’ Matoshree. They have to coordinate with all corporators and take an aggressive stand in the general body meeting with the opposition,” said a Sena leader.

Sources from the party said that two names from the existing standing committee, Ramakant Rahate from Kalachowkie and Ramesh Korgaonkar from Bhandup, are under consideration for the post. Meanwhile, Vinod Shelar from the BJP has filed his candidature for the chairmanship of the Education committee, and Dr Priyatama Sawant from the Congress will be contesting against him.

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