Saffron secures Thane, Navi Mumbai bastions
While Sena candidate Eknath Shinde won from Kopri Panchpakhadi by 89,300 votes, party candidate Pratap Sarnaik won from Ovala Majiwada by 84,008 votes.
The saffron alliance has managed to retain its hold over Thane district. Of the 18 Assembly seats in the district, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won eight, the Shiv Sena five, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) two, and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), Samajwadi Party and an independent candidate one each.
In Thane city, all four sitting MLAs managed to retain their seats. While Sena candidate Eknath Shinde won from Kopri Panchpakhadi by 89,300 votes, party candidate Pratap Sarnaik won from Ovala Majiwada by 84,008 votes. In the Thane city constituency, the fight between BJP’s Sanjay Kelkar and MNS’s Avinash Jadhav, who was supported by the Congress and the NCP, was a close one.
Though there was a lot of opposition within the Sena to support Kelkar, he won by 19,424 votes. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate Jitendra Awhad won in Kalwa-Mumbra by 75,639 votes.
Awhad said the state will have a “strong and efficient Opposition”, which had been lacking in the past few years.
“We might not be able to form a government, but we will form a strong Opposition. I am more happy about the defeat of Udayanraje Bhosale in Satara than my victory, as he had back-stabbed NCP chief Sharad Pawar,” said Awhad.
MNS SPRINGS SURPRISE IN KALYAN RURAL
The Kalyan Rural constituency sprung a surprise with MNS candidate Raju Patil defeating Sena candidate Ramesh Mhatre by 7,150 votes in a neck-and-neck competition. In Bhiwandi East, Sena’s Rupesh Mhatre lost to Samajwadi Party’s Rais Shaikh by 1,450 votes. In Kalyan West, Sena candidate Vishwanath Bhoir defeated BJP rebel and sitting MLA Narendra Pawar.
While sitting MLA Ravindra Chavan retained his seat in Dombivli, Ganpat Gaikwad from BJP won from Kalyan East.
In Ulhasnagar, BJP’s Kumar Ailani defeated sitting MLA Jyoti Kalani from NCP by 1,891 votes. The Kalani family has ruled over Ulhasnagar since 1986 and changed parties frequently in the past five years. The fight, however, was close with Kalani leading in the first half of the day. Ailani’s vote count increased in the latter half of the day. While Ailani bagged 42,944 votes, Kalani got 41,053 votes. Voters in the city were unhappy with the rampant illegal constructions.
Meanwhile, Kisan Kathore, the sitting BJP MLA from Murbad, won by the largest margin in Thane district. He defeated NCP’s Pramod Hindurao by 1,31,336 votes. Kathore had quit NCP in the 2014 polls and joined the BJP.
BJP WAVE IN NAVI MUMBAI, PANVEL
The BJP also swept the constituencies of Airoli and Belapur in Navi Mumbai and Panvel.
Former minister Ganesh Naik, who recently moved to BJP from NCP, won by a margin of 78,491 votes from Airoli against NCP’s Ganesh Shinde. In Belapur, sitting BJP MLA Manda Mhatre secured a comfortable victory against NCP candidate Ashok Gawde, with a winning margin of 43,597 votes. In the previous Assembly polls, she had defeated Naik by a margin of 1,491 votes.
BJP’s sitting MLA from Panvel and chairman of City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco), Prashant Thakur, defeated PWP’s Haresh Keni by 92,730 votes. Uran witnessed a tough fight, with BJP rebel and independent candidate Mahesh Baldi defeating Sena MLA Manohar Bhoir by 6,710 votes. Baldi had got open support from the BJP, with MLA Prashant Thakur campaigning for him.