It is going to be a straight fight between the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and the BJP for the mayoral elections in the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) scheduled to be held on Wednesday, February 26.
Senior BJP corporator Jyotsna Hasnale will lock horns with Shiv Sena’s Anant Shirke. The mayoral post has been reserved for the scheduled caste (SC) category for the remaining two and half year tenure in the 5-year term of the civic body. Meanwhile three corporators including- Hasmukh Gehlot, Madan Singh (both BJP) and senior Congress corporator Merlyn D’sa have filed their nominations for the deputy mayor’s post, confirmed an official from the municipal secretary’s office.
Nominations can be withdrawn till election time. With 61 out of the 95 seats, the BJP seems to have an upper hand. However, the polls might throw up some interesting scenarios as the Shiv-Sena (22) and Congress (12) have teamed up as MVA to achieve a collective strength of 34 which is 14 short of the magic figure. The MVA is also banking on the dissent within the BJP.
Adding fuel to speculations, more than half-a-dozen disgruntled BJP corporators had refrained from joining their party’s trip to Goa, however, the fact that a few of their own corporators are said to be hands-in-glove with the rival camp, the local Congress and Sena leadership is also struggling hard to keep their flock together.
Also, in a shocking move, former BJP legislator Narendra Mehta resigned from the party on Monday. Minutes after the aspirants filed their nominations for the mayoral posts, Mehta posted a video on social media platforms announcing his resignation from all roles and responsibilities from the BJP.
Clarifying that his resignation was nothing to with the mayoral elections, Mehta said that he was stepping down from active politics while tendering his apology to party workers and leaders of BJP, Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress. When contacted Mehta confirmed about his resignation, but refused to reveal the reason. It is being speculated that the choice for mayoral posts were against the wishes of Mehta which apparently prompted him to resign from the party. A seasoned politician, Mehta had been defeated by BJP rebel Geeta Jain in assembly elections last year.