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CONGRESS-NCP MAKES A CLEAN SWEEP AS RAJ THACKERAY PLAYS SPOILER FOR COUSIN’S PARTY

cong-1The erosion of Shiv Sena votes by Raj Thackeray’s MNS gave the Congress-NCP combine an unexpected sweep in all six constituencies in the city. A seat-by-seat analysis of the votes polled by the alliance partners shows that its victory in all constituencies, except Mumbai North-Central-where Priya Dutt was the clear favorite-was largely due to the MNS factor. Two other parties – the SP and the BSP that were earlier hyped as potential spoilers failed to eat into the Congress-NCP vote, making it easier for the UPA partners. Only Abu Azmi, SP candidate from Mumbai North-West, managed a relatively respectable performance, but that was not enough to stop five-time Congress MP Gurudas Kamat from winning. In the case of Milind Deora, MNS’s Bala Nandgaonkar did far greater damage to five times Sena MP Mohan Rawle, relegating him unceremoniously to the third spot. In the end, Milind Deora won comfortably by over 1.1 lakh votes. This pattern was replicated in four other Mumbai constituencies. Mumbai North-East saw a three-way race; Kirit Somaiya (BJP) and Shishir Shinde (MNS) split the 4.1 lakh votes almost equally between them, leaving the NCP’s Sanjay Patil the winner with a slender margin of just under 3,000 votes. Gurudas Kamat benefited similarly in Mumbai North-West. He won by over 38,000 votes, gaining from the 1.24 lakh votes polled by the MNS’s Shalini Thackeray. BJP veteran Ram Naik, an early favorite in Mumbai North, lost by less than 6,000 votes to Congress candidate Sanjay Nirupam as Shirish Parkar of the MNS played the spoiler with 1.47 lakh votes. Congress candidate Eknath Gaikwad’s margin in Mumbai North-East was more respectable at over 75,000 votes but even here it was the MNS’s Shweta Parulkar’s 1.08 lakh votes that helped him defeat the Sena’s Suresh Gambhir. It was only in Mumbai North-Central that Congress could claim a victory unaided by the MNS. With Priya Dutt racking up a sizeable 3.19 lakh votes against first-time BJP candidate Mahesh Jethmalani who got 1.44 lakh votes, the MNS simply wasn’t a factor; her margin of victory of nearly 1.75 lakh votes was more than what MNS candidate Shilpa Sarpotdar polled with 1.32 lakh votes. So the final winners in Mumbai are : Mumbai South – Congress’ Milind Deora – Margin 1.12 lakh Mumbai North Central – Congress’s Priya Dutt – Margin 1.74 lakhs Mumbai North West – Congress’ Gurudas Kamat – Margin 38, 387 lakhs Mumbai South Central – Congress’s Eknath Gaikwad – Margin 75, 706 Mumbai North – Congress’s Sanjay Nirupam – Margin 5, 779 Mumbai North East – NCP’s Sanjay Patil – Margin 2, 933 So clearly there we saw how after winning all the seven seats in Delhi, Congress swept the polls in Mumbai by retaining all the five seats it contested. While Congress NCP swept Mumbai, Congress’s ally NCP opened its account in the country’s financial capital winning the sixth seat. Political analysts attributed the stunning success of the ruling coalition’s candidates to the “MNS” factor which cut into the votes of Congress-NCP’s arch rival Shiv Sena-BJP. Several candidates of the Raj Thackeray led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena polled over one lakh votes. MNS candidates stunned BJP’s candidates Kirit Sommaiya in Mumbai North East and Ram Naik in Mumbai North, Shiv Sena’s Gajanan Kirtikar in Mumbai North West, who were considered sure winners. MNS’s Bala Nandgaonkar finished in second position in Mumbai South constituency. Shilpa Sarpotdar of MNS polled more than 1.31 lakh votes in Mumbai North Central. While Shishir Shinde polled 1.94 lakh in Mumbai North East. In neighboring Thane and Bhiwandi too, MNS candidates got more than one lakh votes. While in Nashik, MNS got 2.17 lakh votes. Bureau report – NMTV News.

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