The Shiv Sena scored a much-needed win in Thane, where it had tasted its first electoral victory when its mayor was elected in the early ’70s.
The Sena won three of the four Assembly seats in Thane and five of the 16 it contested across Thane district. The results were the saving grace for the Sena, which was mauled by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in Mumbai.
In Thane, the MNS contested four Assembly seats but won none. In 2004, the Thane constituency was a single seat, which was with the Sena. It was divided into four recently.
“Thane has reaffirmed its faith in us. We promise to deliver on the promises of development mentioned in our manifesto,” said former mayor Rajan Vichare who defeated MNS candidate Rajan Raje by 2,445 votes in Thane City constituency.
But Raje is taking the defeat positively. “We will see where we are lacking and work on it,” he said after counting on Thursday.
The Sena celebrated this victory on the streets.
Apart from the main city seat, dominated by Maharashtrian voters, the Sena also won in the new constituency of Owala-Majiwada. Pratap Sarnaik beat MNS candidate Sudhakar Chavan.
Similarly, Kopri-Pachpakhadi constituency voted in Thane sitting MLA Eknath Shinde, who beat the Congress’ Manoj Shinde and the MNS’s Rajan Gawand. The victory margin was 32,776 votes.
The sole dampener for the Sena was Mumbra-Kalwa, which went to the Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP’s) Jitendra Ahwad, a sitting Member of the Legislative Council. Here too, the Sena might have won had it not been for the MNS, which secured 15,119 votes.
The Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine did better than the Congress-NCP alliance in Thane district. While the Sena won in five of the 16 seats it contested, the BJP won four — Vikramgad, Bhiwandi Rural, Ulhasnagar and Dombivli.
The NCP contested 10 seats and won five — Murbad, Mira Bhayander, Mumbra-Kalwa, Airoli and Belapur. The Congress also contested 10 seats, but only won in Palghar.
Two seats — Kalyan Rural and Kalyan West — were bagged by the MNS.
In Thane, the Samajwadi Party also bagged two seats — Bhiwandi East and West. The Bahujan Vikas Aghadi won two seats — Boisar and Nallasopara. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) managed to win one seat whereas Independents Vivek Pandit and Ganpat Gaikwad won their seats in Vasai and Kalyan East respectively.