MBMC to have 8th SC mayor: Will mahila raj continue?

Bhayandar: The twin-city is set to have its 8th mayor from the scheduled caste (SC) category when the term of incumbent Dimple Mehta (BJP) ends in February 2020.

The decision followed a draw of lottery for the reservation for the mayor’s post of 27 civic bodies, including the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) by Maharashtra’s urban development department in Mumbai on Wednesday.

The mayor’s post in 8 major civic bodies, including Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Thane, Nashik, Kalyan-Dombivli, Sangli and Ulhasnagar, is reserved for the open category.

The reservation tenure will be for the remaining two and half years in the five-year term of the civic body. The reservation opens the race for the mayor’s post for three candidates of the BJP, including two first-time corporators -- Daulat Gajrie, Rupali Shinde -- and a much-experienced contender in the form of Jyotsna Hasnale. However, the choice would narrow down to only and a lone aspirant Anant Shirke from the Shiv Sena.

With 61 of the 95 corporators, the BJP, which single-handedly rules the MBMC, is at loggerheads with its estranged ally Shiv Sena, which has 22 corporators. Notably, since its elevation from council to corporation status in 2002, the MBMC has witnessed seven mayoral terms, and so far, there have been only two male city mayors in the last 17 years. NCP’s Nirmala Savle succeeded Mayra Gilbert Mendonca who became the first mayor of the MBMC in 2002.

The mayoral chair was bagged by Narendra Mehta (an independent candidate supported by NCP and saffron alliance) in August 2007 and later in February 2010 by Congress’s Tulsidas Mhatre. Catlyn Pereira and Geeta Jain shared the chair from 2012 to 2017.

As of now, BJP’s Dimple Mehta who is the seventh mayor had been elected to the post from the Other Backward Class category, while her senior party colleague Geeta Jain (now independent legislator) had bagged the mayoral post while it was reserved for the general (women) category during the second half of the MBMC tenure in 2014.

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