Forty per cent votes were polled in the prestigious Mumbai university Senate polls held on Sunday.
The election assumes significance on two counts. One is that Aditya Thackeray, grandson of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray was personally leading the entire campaign and had fielded all 10 candidates.
“I am happy with the huge turnout and will definitely secure a majority,” Aditya Thackeray said. However, he expressed disappointment with the manner in which the elections were conducted saying both he and his mother Rashmi Thackeray had to stand in line for two hours to cast their votes.
The other important development was that the alliance between the Congress, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and Swabhimaan, the NGO floated by Narayan Rane worked together in these polls.
However, the Congress denied any such alliance. “It is a canard spread by the Sena to defame us as every communication issued by us indicated the presence of just our three candidates,” said Dharmesh Vyas, chairman, Bombay Graduates Forum, affiliated to Mumbai Congress. The Senate plays an important role in deciding issues of academic importance in Mumbai University and its affiliated colleges.
The Sena had enrolled 22,639 voters for these polls and launched an aggressive campaign as it was Aditya’s debut polls since he took charge as chief of the Yuva Sena.
However, the MNS student wing which fielded five candidates put all hopes on the popularity of its leader Raj Thackeray among the youngsters. “The youth have been our strength,” said Chetan Pedenekar, VP, MNVS.