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BJP-Sena alliance sweeps Mumbai, MNS factor fails to click

Friday, May 24, 2019
By A Special Correspondent

Going by the official trends of the Election Commission of India (ECI), the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) looks all set to retain all the six Lok Sabha constituencies of Mumbai. The ruling alliance is also set to retain the three seats in Thane and one seat in Palghar (ST) seat. The results completely upturned the pollsters predictions of possible upset results in Mumbai South, Mumbai North-Central and Bhiwandi in Thane.

In the first two result to be declared from Mumbai, BJPs Manoj Kotak retained the Mumbai North-East Lok Sabha constituency defeating his nearest Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) rival Sanjay Dina Patil by a margin of 2.26 lakh votes. Kotak had polled 5.13 lakh votes as against Patil who polled 2.87 lakh votes. Kotak was viewed as a replacement candidate to sitting former MP Kirit Somaiya following Senas objection to the latters candidature. Here the BJP victory margin of 3.17 lakh votes came down to 2.02 lakh votes.

The second result from Mumbai has gone in favor of the Shiv Sena. Sitting Sena MP from Mumbai South-Central Rahul Shewale has retained his seat defeating his nearest Congress rival Eknath Gaikwad by a margin of 1.52 lakh votes. Shewale had polled 4.23 lakh votes as against Gaikwad who had polled 2.72 lakh votes. Shewale too has seen his 2014 Lok Sabha victory margin of 1.38 lakh votes come down to 1.02 lakh votes.

However, compared to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections the victory margins of the BJP, Shiv Sena candidates has come down drastically as they try to retain their seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Another key take away of this election was that the crowd pulling rallies of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray failed to dent the electoral prospects of BJP-Sena. The MNS which had not fielded any candidate in this election and yet Raj Thackeray held 10 election rallies in the state. In his election speeches although he urged people not to vote for the ruling BJP-Sena, he did not place the alternative before the people.

At the time of going to the press, sitting BJP MP Gopal Shetty is all set to retain his Mumbai North Lok Sabha constituency against his Congress rival Urmila Matondkar. Shetty who had polled 3.23 lakh votes against Matondkar who polled 1.14 lakh votes, was leading by a margin of 2.08 lakh votes. However, his victory margin of 4.46 lakh votes of 2014 was halved to 2.08 lakh votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

In Mumbai North-West Lok Sabha constituency sitting Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar is also all set to retain his seat against his nearest Congress rival and former MRCC president Sanjay Nirupam. Kirtikar polled 1.76 lakh votes as against his Congress rival Sanjay Nirupam who polled 93,511 votes at the time of going to the press. Kirtikar too has seen his 2014 Lok Sabha victory margin of 1.83 lakh halved to 82,876 votes in this 2019 Lok Sabha.

Upturning pollsters predictions, sitting BJP MP Poonam Mahajan-Rao is all set to retain her Mumbai North-Central Lok Sabha seat defeating her nearest Congress rival Priya Dutt by a sizeable margin. Mahajan had polled 2.76 lakh votes, while her Congress rival Priya Dutt polled 1.50 lakh votes.   

Another prediction of the pollsters that went wrong was for the Mumbai South Lok Sabha constituency. Sitting Sena MP Arvind Sawant is all set to retain his seat against his old Congress rival Milind Deora. Sawant had polled 2.19 lakh votes as against his nearest Congress rival Milind Deora who polled 1.61 lakh votes. Sawant too saw his 2014 Lok Sabha victory margin of 1.28 lakh votes drastically come down to 57,215 votes in this 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Outside of Mumbai, in the four Lok Sabha constituencies in Thane and Palghar district's too the ruling BJP and Sena is all set to retain the Palghar (ST), Bhiwandi, Kalyan and Thane Lok Sabha seats. At the time of going to the press, Rajendra Gavit (earlier with the BJP) is all set to retain his Palghar (ST) Lok Sabha seat having taken a 91,694 votes lead against his nearest Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA) rival Baliram Jadhav. In Bhiwandi, sitting MP Kapil Patil is most likely to retain his seat. Patil was leading over his nearest Congress rival Suresh Taware by a margin of 41,765 votes.

Sitting Sena MP Dr Shrikant Shinde is all set to retain his Kalyan Lok Sabha seat against former Sena MP, now Congress candidate Balaram Patil (NCP). At the time of going to the press Shinde was leading over Taware by a margin of 1.31 lakh votes. In Thane sitting Sena MP Rajan Vichare is all set to retain his seat against former Sena MP, now NCP candidate Anand Paranjpe. At the time of going to the press Vichare was leading over Paranjpe by a margin of 1.03 lakh votes.

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