In Central Mumbai, it was celebration time for both newcomers and veterans.
Of the five constituencies that comprise the region, the Congress retained Dharavi, Sion Koliwada and Wadala. Raj
Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) won in Mahim and Sewri, damaging the Shiv Sena badly.
For decades, the Lalbaug-Parel-Dadar-Prabhadevi-Mahim belt — which comprises Mahim and Sewri constituencies — stood by the Sena, but on Thursday that changed.
In Sewri, Bala Nandgaonkar, a Sena veteran who had thrown in his lot with Thackeray, defeated sitting MLA Dagdu Sakpal by polling 64,375 votes. The Sena had considered Sakpal’s win a done deal, but it epitomised the changed voting pattern in the city. “My victory proves that the Marathi manoos is with [Thackeray],” said a beaming Nandgaonkar.
In Mahim, the heart of Sena country, MNS candidate Nitin Sardesai won with a margin of over 9,000 votes. The Sena couldn’t even make it to second place with party rebel Sada Sarvankar, contesting on a Congress ticket, pushing Aadesh Bandekar to third place.
Loud firecrackers were set off at Wadala to celebrate the win of Congress candidate and sitting MLA Kalidas Kolambkar who won the seat for a fifth term. He won with a margin of 30,000 votes, though poll pundits had predicted a closer contest with Sena rival Digambar Kandarkar. “It’s evidence of the belief people show in me,” said Kolambkar, struggling to be heard above the fireworks.
Sitting MLA Jagannath Shetty of the Congress won in Sion Koliwada with a margin of over 18,000 votes, defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Manisha Kayande. He celebrated by touring the constituency in a van modified to resemble a chariot. Dharavi went yet again with the Congress. Sitting MLA and daughter of sitting MP Eknath Gaikwad, Varsha, won the seat a second time.
Inputs by Sayli Udas Mankikar, Naresh Kamat, Bhavika Jain