MUMBAI: The Sharad Pawar-led NCP on Sunday suffered a big setback at the hands of the Shiv Sena in the Thane byelections. The Sena candidate Anand Paranjpe defeated his nearest rival Sanjeev Naik (NCP) by huge margin of 90,872 votes. Sena retained its hold in Thane by winning the LS seat for the ninth consecutive term.
The poll outcome has left both the Congress and the NCP worried as it raises the larger question about the future of the alliance in the 2009 assembly and Lok Sabha elections. It also exposed the deep fractures within the NCP.
Thane is the largest constituency in the country covering 36 lakh voters of whom only nine lakh (26%) exercised their franchise.