Maharashtra Assembly polls: Shiv Sena’s failure led MNS to victory in lone seatUpdated: Oct 26, 2019, 00:33 IST
The Shiv Sena’s confusiion while choosing a candidate for Kalyan Rural, anti-incumbency against sitting MLA Subhash Bhoir and the discontent over lack of basic amenities in the constituency worked in favour of Maharashta Navnirman Sena (MNS) candidate Pramod (Raju) Patil.
Patil defeated Sena’s Ramesh Mhatre by 7,154 votes in Kalyan Rural, the only Assembly constituency that the MNS has won. Interestingly, in 2009, Patil’s brother Ramesh Patil had won the seat against Mhatre by a margin of 9,507. “We [Shiv Sena] decided to contest the seat, knowing that many people are upset over the state of affairs. We were sure people will vote for us. The sitting MLA has done the least for the constituency,” said Patil.
Kalyan Rural covers rural parts of Kalyan, Dombivli and Diva. In the last five years, major issues facing the constituency include traffic woes, water shortage and floods. Patil has been actively involved with local political groups and enjoyed the support an all-party union, representing 27 village. The Congress had also extended its support to Patil, as his late father, Ratan Patil, was a senior Congress leader.
Meanwhile, Bhoir has largely been missing from the public domain. For the Assembly elections this year, Sena fielded Mhatre, as several party members were unhappy with Bhoir. Even though Bhoir had filed the nomination from the party without the AB form, he later withdrew it, knowing that the Shiv Sena would not back his nomination.
Patil is a resident of Palava, which is part of the Kalyan Rural constituency. “People in Palava face major problems on a daily basis, owing to traffic congestion on the Shilphata stretch. This year, we also faced floods and the aftermath was poorly managed. These factors made it clear that we needed a change,” said Patil.
“The confusion within the Shiv Sena to choose its candidates is one of the major reasons for its failure to win the seat. People in rural areas tend to vote for candidates who are more visible and reach out them during troubled times. Bhoir has not been visible, while Patil has been active in local events. He is also a strongman and has close ties with MNS chief Raj Thackeray. Sena has failed to address several problems in the area,” said political analyst Raj Asgaonkar.