It wasn’t a good day for sitting MLAs in South Mumbai. Arun Gawli, Raj Purohit and Bashir Patel were all defeated.
In Byculla, Congressman Madhu Chavan exacted sweet revenge by defeating don-turned-politician Arun Gawli. In the last election, Gawli had trounced Chavan.
In Mumbadevi, Bashir Patel, who abandoned the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to join the Samajwadi Party, faced a humiliating defeat as he was pushed to third position in the constituency won by Congressman Amin Patel by a margin of 17,000 votes.
Colaba once again proved its loyalty to the Congress by electing veteran Annie Shekhar, who defeated former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) minister Raj Purohit.
“We were certain of our win. Shekhar’s work in the constituency spoke for her,” said her daughter Anita, who waited excitedly for her mother near the counting centre.
The NCP won the only seat it contested in South Mumbai, with city party chief Sachin Ahir defeating the Sena’s Ashish Chemburkar in Worli.
The only saving grace for the saffron alliance was the Malabar Hill seat, which was won by sitting BJP MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha for the fourth time. He defeated the Congress’ Rajkumar Bafna comfortably.
Bafna had been leading initially but trailed later. Even when Lodha was leading by 4,000 votes, Bafna said outside the counting centre: “I am confident of winning.”
Malabar Hill defied political analysts’ expectations that the redrawing of constituencies would have an impact on the result.
The constituency now includes parts of Shiv Sena-dominated Girgaum. “We polled fewer votes than we expected. We expected the Sena votes to come to us in Girgaum,” said Maharashtra Navnirman Sena candidate Archit Jayakar, who could not play spoiler for Lodha.