Mumbai's Mayor Will Be From Shiv Sena As BJP Steps Aside

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Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Saturday that the BJP is not going to contest for Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's mayor post.

Till Friday, the BJP had been looking for support from independents and smaller-party corporators to increase its numbers for the mayoral election, and had convinced Akhil Bharatiya Sena (ABS) corporator Geeta Gawli to support it.

"No threat to my government, it is stable", said Fadnavis.

Hemangi Worlikar who is likely to become deputy mayor had won the BMC elections from ward 193 by defeating Jayant Nate, a BJP contestant.

"BJP will be firm on the issue of transparency (in the functioning of the civic body)", Shelar told a Marathi news channel tonight. However, Fadnavis stated that his party won't be in opposition either and will be supporting the ruling party. "We would be open to support to the ruling Shiv Sena whenever the need arises", he said while replying to a question. Senior Sena leader and Maharashtra's transport minister Diwakar Raote said the Sena welcomed the chief minister's statement.

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March 4 is the last date for filing nominations for the post and the election will be held on March 8, a BMC official said. That's means the BJP has accepted the mandate given by Mumbaikars in the BMC polls in favour of the Shive Sena.

Also, the BJP who contested the elections on its own did immensely well by jumping from 31 to 82 seats. The number puts the BJP four behind the Shiv Sena and 30 behind the 114-figure mark that it needs to stake claim to the Mayor's post. "The BJP corporators would serve as the guardians of transparency in the BMC".

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, state BJP chief Raosaheb Danve and Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar are expected to attend the meeting, party sources said. While the Congress and the NCP were hoping to come to power in nine other ZPs by coming together, a Sena-BJP post-poll pact would thwart this plan.

He also announced he would request the Maharashtra Lokayukta to appoint a Deputy Lokayukta exclusively for Mumbai to ensure a transparent city administration. He said the BJP would soon constitute a three-member committee comprising senior IAS officers to find out the various aspects of civic governance where transparency and accountability could be instilled.

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