The Thane mayoral polls became a mere formality when all the opposition parties took back their nominations, electing Shiv Sena’s Meenakshi Shinde as the new mayor and Ramakant Mhadvi, the deputy mayor. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, along with his son Aaditya and wife Rashmi, was present for the elections. The Thackerays also conducted a road show in the city following this victory.

Shinde was elected the 18th mayor while Mhaadvi became the 23rd deputy mayor of the city.  The Sena went all the way to establish its hold on the city by painting the town saffron. Sena flags, festoons and huge installations were placed along the lanes of the city.

Shinde was supposed to contest the elections against Ashrin Raut of NCP and Ashadevi Singh of BJP. Both the parties had also fielded their deputy mayor candidates, though they took back the nominations just before the elections and let Sena win unopposed after the party won a majority in the city with 67 seats.

Maahendra Kalyankar, presiding officer, said, “The two candidates contesting mayor elections opposite Shinde took the nomination back. Similarly, three candidates from NCP, BJP and Congress contesting deputy mayor elections took back the nominations. Both Sena candidates won the election unopposed.”

Thackeray appreciated the opposition’s move to accept the people’s mandate and give power to the Sena. He said, “There might be any wave in the country, but Thaneites have stood by the Sena for the last 25 years. Thane is like our family, I promise not to break the trust of the people and fulfil the promises listed in the manifesto in the coming five years. It is important that the administration and the elected body work in tandem, and thus we will also lend our support to civic commissioner Sanjeev Jasiwal who has done some good work in the city,” Thackeray said.

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