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Saffron shut out

india Updated: Oct 23, 2009 01:21 IST
Highlight Story

Mumbai was the Congress’ winning ticket in Maharashtra. The party’s tally of 17 seats in the city accounted for 21 per cent of the 82 Assembly seats it won across Maharashtra.

The Shiv Sena, on the other hand, won only five seats compared to the nine it won in 2004.

But it was the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) that sprung the biggest surprise by securing second place in Mumbai. Its six seats put it ahead of the Sena, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). The MNS’ state tally was 13 seats.

“Our victory in areas like Mumbai shows that the people truly understand and empathise with the issues I have raised,” said MNS leader Raj Thackeray.

Raj, who rebelled against cousin Uddhav’s leadership of the Sena and split the party three years ago, has led a campaign against North Indian migrants to the city. His big wins came in Sena bastions like Sewri, Bhandup, Vikhroli, Ghatkopar West, Magathane and Mahim.

Congress’ sitting MLAs in the central and western suburbs retained their seats despite issues like security, water cuts and poor infrastructure.

Kalidas Kolambkar won in Wadala for the fifth consecutive time. Another Congressman, two-time MLA Jagannath Shetty, won in Sion Koliwada.

In the western suburbs, MLA Ashokbhau Jadhav, Baldev Khosa and Suresh Shetty repeated their performances, helping the Congress increase its count.

The MNS dominated the Marathi-speaking eastern suburbs. Among its major winners were Shishir Shinde (Bhandup), Mangesh Sangale (Vikhroli) and Ram Kadam (Ghatkopar).

Among the big losers were the BJP’s Poonam Mahajan, a first-time candidate and daughter of late party leader Pramod Mahajan; cricketer Vinod Kambli, who contested on a Lok Bharati ticket; the Congress’ Janet D’Souza, daughter of late
Celine D’Silva, a minister in Vasantdada Patil’s government in the 1980s; and the Sena’s Sunil Raut, brother of party MP Sanjay.

MNS candidate Nitin Sardesai won in Mahim, considered the Sena’s backyard, beating Sena rebel Sada Sarvankar, who contested on a Congress ticket. Sena candidate Adesh Bandekar followed with 36,364 votes.

For decades, the Lalbuag-Parel belt stood by the Sena, but it rejected the party too. Bala Nandgoankar, who defeated then Sena rebel Chhagan Bhujbal in 1989, defeated the Sena’s two-time MLA Dagdu Sakpal in Sewri. In Worli, Sena corporator Ashish Chemburkar lost by 5,000 votes to NCP city chief Sachin Ahir.