In response to the emotional appeal by Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray during his Dussehra speech, corporators in the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) wholeheartedly voted in favour of Sena mayoral candidate Kala Ozha. Ozha bagged 58 votes to become the mayor while Sanjay Joshi of the BJP with 56 votes chosen as his deputy. Congress mayoral candidate Firdaus Fatima could get only 40 votes, while Rajiv Shinde, who was lured by the NCP for the deputy mayor’s post, got 43 votes.
The Shiv Sena- BJP alliance has 45 corporators in the 99- member House, while the Congress- NCP has 30 corporators. Shiv Sena’s Lok Sabha member Chandrakant Khaire said about 13 independent corporators, including MNS, Pradeep Jaiswal’s Shahar Vikas Aghadi (3), which recently joined Shiv Sena, Prof TM Kamble’s RPI (2) voted in favour of the Shiv Sena-BJP candidates besides the 45 corporators of the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance.
Former chairman of the standing committee, Rajiv Shinde, who was elected on a BJP ticket, had revolted against the party’s official candidate and captured the chairman’s post with the help of the Congress-NCP alliance last year. The BJP removed him from the party after the standing committee chairman election.
The result of the Aurangabad mayoral election was keenly anticipated because the Congress-NCP was bent on ending the 20-year rule of the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had met Congress-NCP corporators in Aurangabad and had a word with independent members earlier. State revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat and education minister Rajendra Darda were given the responsibility to elect the mayoral candidate. Except for holding two meetings with the 15 independent members they did not take much interest in the election process.