The first opinion poll of the by elections of Thane Belapur election campaign shows that the top two contenders on offer to voters are in fact not running neck and neck. A little study shows that NCP candidate Sanjeev Naik is set to unseat the Sena hold on the constituency with a significant victory. Our weekend exclusive brings to you all the answers on the probable questions of how this will become a reality. This isn’t the battle for one constituency but war for power in Maharashtra – and if there is a contender saying the right words at the right place at the right time – it is Sanjeev Naik. Experience of working at ground level has humbled Sanjeev Naik into a public figure who immediately strikes a chord with the public. Sena’s Anand Paranjpe might score on any front but cannot match the understanding and maturity of Sanjeev Naik as a leader of the masses. The other thing that works massively in his favor is that Sanjeev Naik has his own record of successful public work to prove his mettle as a public leader while his closest competition Sena’s Anand Paranjpe, who is otherwise a businessman has come out on the battle ground banking on the work done by his father, the late MP Prakash Paranjpe, which isn’t much. This difference in experience has not missed those who have attended the press conferences of both Sena’s Anand Paranjpe and NCP’s Sanjeev Naik. The maturity that one can see in Sanjeev Naik’s approach comes from being a mayor three times and monitoring the biggest projects in Navi Mumbai that grew into a super city during the same period when Sanjeev Naik reigned as Mayor. This is the reason why any and every section of Navi Mumbai has faith in Sanjeev Naik’s leadership. Who does not know the role that Sanjeev Naik played to get his father State Minister Ganesh Naik elected the last time round by a record margin. The goodwill of his father Ganesh Naik in this region among common voters is unbeatable. This reflected in our first opinion poll where most voters’ candidate of choice was Sanjeev Naik. If there was anything that could have worked against Sanjeev Naik, it was the in factions within the NCP. Ever since Sanjeev Naik has been declared the NCP candidate, speculations ran wild about NCP leaders working against him – for instance Vasant Dhaukare, Subhash Bhoir, Jeetendra Awhad and a few leaders in Navi Mumbai but if these leaders want tickets for the next MLA seats from this region – they have little choice but to show their hold on voters in their specific areas. That eliminates what could have been Sanjeev Naik’s biggest set back in these elections. Moreover, the winning margin of the Sena candidate has constantly fallen from 1.75 lakhs in 1989 to a mere 22000 in the last parliamentary polls in 2004. The present day voters are an awakened and enlightened lot that cannot be fooled, there wisdom cannot be undermined and when the voter will cast his votes on merit, the better candidate will win.
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