BMC mayor is Sunil Prabhu, his deputy Mithbawkar

Shiv Sena corporator Sunil Prabhu was on Friday elected mayor of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), while BJP corporator Mohan Mithbawkar was named his deputy.

Crossing the majority of 114 comfortably, the Sena-BJP-RPI alliance managed to garner the support of 15 Independent corporators.

Despite having supported the Sena's mayoral candidate in Thane, the MNS chose to distance itself from voting on Friday, with 28 MNS corporators remaining absent.

Akhil Bharatiya Sena said it pledged support of its two corporators Geeta and Vandana Gawli, while Prakash Ambedkar-led faction of Bahujan Rashtriya Party voted for Shiv Sena.

Of the 190 votes cast, 125 went to Prabhu, while 65 (52 Congress corporators + 13 NCP corporators) votes went to Congress candidate Sunil More.

In 2007, the alliance had managed to woo four out of seven independents, while the other three supported the Congress. Shiv Sena MLA and former corporator Ravindra Waikar said with a weakened Congress after its BMC poll debacle, independents failed to see any benefit in supporting the Congress-NCP alliance and 15 of them supported the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance.

Interestingly, four of these are Muslim candidates who have won from traditional non-Sena wards. Hanif Bi, mother of outgoing independent corporator from Cheetah Camp, Mankhurd Mohd Farooq Shaikh, gave her support to the Sena-BJP alliance, even as her son had supported the Congress in the previous term. Iliyas Shaikh Bashi, independent winner from ward 85 said Congress had not done anything for two decades.

"We no longer base our decision to support a party on whether it is communal or not," he said.

Independent corporator Lalita Annamalai, wife of S. Annamalai who was an outgoing Congress corporator but was not given a ticket this time, also supported the Sena. Jyoti Alvani, wife of BJP rebel Parag Alvani, however, voted for Sena-BJP arguing that her "voters want them to continue their allegiance to the BJP."

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