Mumbai: The Shiv Sena’s Meenakshi Shinde has become the mayor of Thane, having been elected unopposed, with mayoral elections in Mumbai on March 8 also set to be a mere formality since the BJP has stepped aside to pave the way for a Sena candidate.

After the Sena garnered a majority in the Thane civic body elections, candidates of other parties — the Nationalist Congress Party, Congress and BJP — withdrew their nominations just before the elections and let the Sena win unopposed.

Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, along with his wife Rashmi and son Aaditya, were present for the elections.

They then embarked on a road show along with the new mayor, literally painting the town saffron.

The Sena has ruled the Thane civic body for more than two decades.

Appreciating the opposition’s withdrawal, Uddhav said, “There might be any wave in the country, but Thaneites have stood by the Sena for last 25 years.”

Meanwhile, the BJP in Mumbai has cleared the path for Shiv Sena to get its mayoral candidate elected.

The BJP got just two seats less than Sena’s tally of 84 in the recently held elections for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Following the acrimonious contest and the threat by the Sena to walk out of the BJP-led government in Maharashtra, the BJP stepped aside in the mayoral polls and said the party would in fact support Sena candidate Vishwanath Mahadeshwar.

Whilst this may seem as a magnanimous act, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in a statement, “BJP corporators will act as watchdogs of transparency of BMC.”

The richest civic body in the country is steeped in corruption and the BJP’s move to ensure more transparency in the policies and contracts passed by the BMC is being considered as a positive step.