Kishori Pednekar of the Shiv Sena became Mumbai’s 77th Mayor on Friday, while corporator advocate Suhas Wadkar was elected as the Deputy Mayor. Both were elected unopposed as neither the Congress nor the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had fielded a candidate.
The term of former mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar ended on November 21 and the election for the next mayor and deputy mayor was scheduled for Friday.
On the day of submitting applications, the Sena had nominated Worli corporator Ms. Pednekar and Malad corporator Mr. Wadkar for the role. Neither the Congress, nor the BJP or any other party fielded a candidate for the post, making it clear the election would be unopposed.
The 227-member general assembly of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has 94 Sena corporators, 81 from the BJP and 37 from the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party, apart from smaller parties and nominated corporators.
In 2017, the Congress had fielded corporator Vitthal Lokare for the mayor’s post, but the BJP had voted in favour of Mr. Mahadeshwar. This time round, since there were no other candidates, Ms. Pednekar’s name was directly announced by the Mayor in Friday’s special general body meeting. After her election, she announced Mr. Wadkar’s name.
In her speech after her election, Ms. Pednekar said, “By 2041, Mumbai’s demand for water will increase to 6,424 million litres per day. The BMC is implementing Gargai, Pinjal, Damanganga projects. I will focus on water conservation, rainwater harvesting, and the utilisation of treated sewage water. I suggest that the administration ensure pothole-free roads in Mumbai. In terms of healthcare, the BMC needs a policy regarding generic medicine apart from an increasing number of veterinary healthcare centres. I will also push for acquisition of plots reserved for various amenities and will follow up on the Shiv Sena’s manifesto promise to waive property tax for residential apartments up to 500 sq. ft. as approved by general body.” She said she would try and fulfil the promises made by the Sena in its election manifesto.
Born to a mill worker, Ms. Pednekar started out as a nurse before she joined the Sena’s women’s wing in 1992. She is a three-term corporator from Worli, winning the first term in 2002. She was ranked No. 1 in Praja Foundation’s councillor report card of 2017-18.