Shiv Sena’s Kishori Pednekar is set to become Mumbai’s 77th mayor on Friday after the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress did not field anyone. This may be the first time in 88 years that a candidate is elected unopposed, The Times of India reported on Tuesday.
Political observers were keenly watching the election for this post amid the stalemate in the state following the Maharashtra Assembly elections. The BJP and Shiv Sena alliance collapsed after the results were announced on October 24, and the Sena is not trying to form government with the Congress and NCP. But discussions are still under way and the state is currently under President’s Rule.
Incumbent Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar’s term ends on Thursday and the elections for the post of the mayor and the deputy mayor were scheduled to be held on Friday. Nominations were to be submitted on Monday. The Shiv Sena nominated Worli corporator Pednekar for mayor and Malad’s Suhas Wadkar for her deputy.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ashish Shelar wrote in a tweet on Monday that his party will not field anyone as it does not have the numbers. But it will aim to capture the post in 2022, he said. The only way for a BJP leader to get elected was with the help of the opposition Congress or NCP. After the 2017 local elections, the 227-member Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has 94 corporators Sena corporators, 81 from BJP and 37 from Congress and NCP.
“We do not have numbers and hence we have not put any candidate for both mayor and deputy mayor posts in BMC,” Congress leader Ravi Raja said, according to the Hindustan Times. “This doesn’t mean we have supported any party but we didn’t put candidates because we did not have the numbers.” Nationalist Congress Party corporator Rakhi Jadhav also said the same thing.