Vaishali Bankar of the Nationalist Congress Party was elected mayor yesterday, bagging the prestigious post with a comfortable margin of 41 votes. Bankar, who becomes the fifth woman mayor of the city, was elected with the support of the Congress party. She received 82 votes.
City's new first citizen: Vaishali Bankar celebrates her victory.
The election was a straight fight between Bankar and Varsha Tapkir of the BJP. Tapkir got 41 votes, from the BJP and Shiv Sena corporators. The 29 MNS corporators in the civic house did not vote for any candidate. All other 123 corporators took part in the voice vote to choose the mayor.
Supporters of Bankar, who had gathered in large numbers at the PMC building, erupted in joy when her name was announced as the next first citizen of the city. The crowd of party workers spilled on to the road near the PMC building as victory celebrations proceeded with much bursting of firecrackers and music.
The celebrations by the overexcited supporters created a chaotic situation as the road outside the PMC saw a traffic jam. A first-time corporator, Bankar is the wife of former NCP corporator Sunil Bankar and has done her bit for society with the self-help groups she runs.
"I will take efforts for the betterment of the city. I will do my best to fulfil the citizens' expectations," Bankar said. Deepak Mankar of the Congress was elected deputy mayor with 82 votes. He defeated Vijay Deshmukh of the Shiv Sena, who got 41 votes.
Congress leader and third-time corporator Mukari Shetty Algude had also filed his nomination for the deputy mayor's election, but withdrew it a few minutes before the voting and supported Mankar.
As the NCP has decided to reduce the duration of the mayor's post, Bankar will be mayor for a year and three months.
Scenes from house floor
>> Congress leader of the house Aba Bagul, while voting in the mayor's election, said that he was voting for Bankar but avoided calling her the Mayor. Even after repeated requests from NCP leaders, he did not use the word mayor when mentioning Bankar.
>> According to NCP worker Ranjit Pardeshi, when Deepak Mankar took charge as Deputy Mayor, his supporters shouted the slogan: "Sabse bada khiladi, Suresh bhai Kalmadi." This made the NCP furious. "We stopped them from shouting slogans in favour of the tainted MP," Pardeshi said.
>> Mukari Shetty Algude of the Congress, after taking back his nomination for the deputy mayor's post, was seen in a jovial mood with in the company of eventual winner Deepak Mankar.
>> All the 29 corporators of the MNS entered the house wearing colourful phetas inspired by the party flag.