An analysis of the civic election results show that the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) were most affected by the presence of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in Mumbai.
The Congress-NCP leaders were sure the MNS would gain at the expense of the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance, much like the results of the Assembly elections.
It was the Shiv Sena-BJP, however, that had the last laugh.
The MNS won 28 seats and finished second in 55 wards. An analysis shows that the Congress lost 25 seats and the NCP lost 12 because of this. The Sena and BJP lost nine and seven seats respectively because of the MNS.
The Congress-NCP alliance lost most seats — 17 — in the western suburbs especially in Andheri (East), Borivli, Dahisar, Ghatkopar and Bhandup.
Surendra Jondhale, a political analyst said, “A large number of Dalit and traditional Congress voters have voted for MNS candidates.”
A senior Congress leader said his party could not take advantage of the anti-incumbency because of its failure to take a strong line on corruption in the civic body. “Raj Thackeray kept targeting the Sena-BJP alliance on this issue and it seems those who were unhappy with the Sena-BJP alliance chose the MNS,” he said.
Since the MNS came in second in 55 wards, the Congress NCP candidates were pushed to third and fourth places.
NCP’s Sanjay Tatkare (brother of NCP leader Sunil Tatkare) and NCP’s Trupti Kanawje wife of former a Baban Kanawaje, both from the Parel/Lalbaug area, could not beat the MNS candidates.
MNS candidates came in second even in areas with sitting corporators. Congress corporator Rupali Pawaskar from Vijay Nagar in Coal Dongari came in third as did BJP corporator Bharati Keni and Congress’ Vinod Shekhar from Charkop and Colaba respectively.
Candidates of the saffron alliance lost 16 seats because of the MNS. In Mulund, MNS candidate Satyawan Dalvi stood second while senior Shiv Sena corporator and a strong mayoral candidate, Prabhakar Shinde, came in third.