Shiv Sena’s Vishwanath Mahadeshwar was on Wednesday elected as the Mayor of Mumbai with the support of the BJP, marking a coming together of the two parties after contesting the civic polls separately.
Mahadeshwar defeated Congress nominee Vitthal Lokare by 171-31 margin.
He is the 76th mayor of the city. The 56-year-old third time corporator has earlier served as Chairman of BMC’s Education Committee and was also a member of the Standing Committee.
His election was a foregone conclusion with the BJP last week announcing that it would not contest for the post, despite finishing a close second to the Sena in the bitterly fought polls, which even cast a shadow on the stability of the Devendra Fadnavis ministry.
As the House assembled for electing Mayor and Deputy Mayor, BJP corporators, sporting saffron turbans, entered it, chanting “Modi-Modi”.
Corporators of the Raj Thackeray-led MNS did not turn up to the House for the elections. Those from the NCP and SP refrained from backing either of the contestants.
While 16 corporators remained neutral, eight remained absent and one from AIMIM abstained from voting though he was present in the House.
The relations between BJP and the Sena, partners in the state and central government, hit a new low during the campaign for civic elections across Maharashtra, which saw them hurling charges at each other.
The Sena had even threatened of pulling out of the BJP-led government in the state anytime.
The BJP put up a splendid performance in all parts of the state and shook Sena’s citadel Mumbai, its political heartland land right from its formation in the 1960s.