Former legislator Hitendra Thakur has once again emerged as the undisputed political bigwig of the Vasai-Virar belt.
Thakur’s Bahujan Vikas Aghadi won 55 out of the 89 civic corporation seats that went to polls on Sunday. This was the first election of the corporation the formation of which was proposed in 2009.
Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Vivek Pandit’s Jan Andolan Samiti, Thakur’s closest rival, bagged 19 seats.
Major political parties—the Shiv Sena (three seats), Congress (two), and Bharatiya Janata Party and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena with one seat each — failed miserably. Independents, who won eight seats, are likely to sit with Thakur. Thakur’s outfit has a Member of Parliament Baliram Jadhav from the Palghar segment. His son, Kshitij, is the youngest member of state Legislative Assembly.
Thakur was initially a Congress MLA from the region. But the party severed ties with him after his brother, Jayendra alias Bhai Thakur, was arrested under the Terrorist And Disruptive Activities (Prevention Act).
Thakur went on to win the next three elections as an independent candidate. He did not contest the 2009 Assembly polls and handed over his seat to his son. Thakur attributed his party’s victory to the hard work and sincerity of his party workers. “People want us to work for this region and that’s why they have been voting for us for several decades,” Thakur said.