Shiv Sena has emerged as the topper in Thane district as it won 5 assembly seats of the 16 that it contetested. This however seems to Shiv Sena’s saving grace only for now. This district seems to be the fig leaf for the Shiv Sena, which has witnessed its worst drubbing in the last 20 years. The Sena, which won 5 assembly seats of the 16 it contested, topped the vote chart, polling 7.02 lakh votes or 21% of the mandate in Thane which has 24 seats. Its saffron partner, BJP, polled 3.24 lakh votes or a lowly 9.75% of the total vote share. However, the lotus emerged the favourite in four of the seven assembly constituencies in Thane district. While the MNS, which won two assembly segments-Kalyan (rural) and Kalyan (west)-is being criticized as a spoiler, the NCP too seems to have made significant inroads in this traditional RSS bastion. The NCP won five assembly seats of the seven it contested, garnering as many as 3.94 lakh votes or 11.96% votes in the district. The major gains were in Kalwa-Mumbra, Mira-Bhayander and the Airoli assembly segments, upsetting all poll calculations of the Sena-BJP. According to political observers, it could be the beginning of the end of the Sena in Thane. The voting pattern shows that there is a greater preference for an alternative political power. Post delimitation and the growing urbanization of the district, the demography has undergone a change. Voters cannot be taken for granted because of traditional voting patterns. Moreover, there has been a rise in secular votes due to urbanization. A cursory look at the figures for the Thane assembly seat would reveal that the Sena has barely managed to retain this constituency, once considered its citadel. The Sena’s Rajan Vichare won the Thane assembly seat with a margin of 2,441 votes against his MNS rival Rajan Raje. For the Congress, the results are a reflection of the voters’ rejection of candidates. The Congress contested 13 assembly segments but won a lone Palghar assembly seat. Bureau report – NMTV News.
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