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Mumbai gives Congress-NCP combine the boot

Saturday, 17 May 2014 - 6:39am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Like elsewhere, the Congress was decimated in Mumbai. The Congress, which contested five of the six Lok Sabha seats, (the sixth one was fought by the NCP) lost all of them. Until 24 hours ago, the Congress was confident of winning Mumbai South (Milind Deora), Central-south (Eknath Gaikwad) and Central-north (Priya Dutt). All of them were sitting MPs with a fairly good track record, but could not withstand saffron brigade.

Mumbai South:
In 2009, Congressman Milind Deora walked to victory after MNS split Marathi votes. As the Raj factor was rendered redundant this time, Sena candidate Arvind Sawant, riding on Modi wave, trumped Deora by over two lakh votes. The anti-incumbency factor, generated by raging inflation and corruption, helped Sawant, an articulate trade union leader of MTNL employees and a legislator, in a big way. Deora was also handicapped by the fact that Muslim voters got divided between the Congress and the AAP which was represented by banker Meera Sanyal.
Votes Polled: Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena) - 3,74,079 Victory Margin - 1,28,229; Milind Deora (Cong) - 2,45, 850, Bala Nandgaonkar (MNS) - 84,497, Meera Sanyal (AAP) - 40,268. NOTA - 9,535

Mumbai South Central:
For Rahul Shewale, Shiv Sena corporator and former chairman of the civic standing committee, it was an impressive show. Since his candidature was finalised well before the polls, Shewale was able to start his campaign first in this seat. He marginalised Aditya Shirodkar of the MNS and did not let him divide Marathi votes. Once again inflation and corruption took votes away from sitting Congress MP Eknath Gaikwad. Shewale's down-to-earth approach and affable personality helped him secure votes in Muslim-dominated pockets.

Votes Polled - Rahul Shewale (Shiv Sena) - 3,81,008 - Victory margin - 1,38,180; Eknath Gaikwad (Cong) - 2,42, 828, Sunder Balakrishnan (AAP) - 27,687, NOTA - 9,571

Mumbai North-Central:
Considered a Congress bastion, this constituency appeared to be a safe seat for sitting MP Priya Dutt. But the Congress clearly failed to notice the undercurrent of hatred for the party in the backdrop of rising prices and graft. Despite her late entry to the arena, Poonam, daughter of slain BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, won by a huge margin. Farhan Azmi, a rich businessman and Samajwadi Party nominee, was expected to divide Muslim votes to the disadvantage of Priya, but could barely garner 5,000 votes.

Votes polled - Poonam Mahajan (BJP) - 4,78,535 - Victory margin - 1,86,771; Priya Dutt (Cong) - 2,91,764, Farhan Azmi (SP) - 5,875 and P. Palkhivala (AAP) - 34,824

Mumbai North West:
Sitting Congress MP Gurudas Kamat suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Gajanan Kirtikar of Sena. Good coordination between Sena and BJP helped Kirtikar, a leader of the Sthaniya Lokadhikar Samiti, bigtime. Kirtikar rubbed in allegations of Kamat being a non-performer, even though the latter proved the work he had done in the area in the past five years. The MNS factor was not disruptive for the Sena, though Mayank Gandhi of AAP did take away anti-incumbency votes which would have otherwise gone to Kirtikar.

Votes polled: Gajanan Kirtikar (Shiv Sena) - 4,64,820 - Victory margin - 1,83,028; Gurudas Kamat (Cong) - 2,81,792; Mahesh Manjrekar (MNS) - 66,088, Mayank Gandhi (AAP) -51,860, NOTA - 11,009

Mumbai North:
It was a straight fight between sitting Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam and Gopal Shetty of the BJP. Even though Nirupam had been active in the area, legislator Shetty has remained very popular. The Modi wave swept through the Gujarati-dominated areas of Borivli, Dahisar etc. The campaign was bitter, but Shetty breezed through to victory.

Votes polled: Gopal Shetty (BJP) - 6,64,004; Sanjay Nirupam (Cong) - 2,17,422; Satish Jain (AAP) - 32,364; NOTA - 8,758

Mumbai North East
BJP's Kirit Somaiya had lost the 2009 polls here by 3,000 votes. But the chartered accountant was back with a vengeance this time. He defeated sitting NCP MP Sanjay Patil by over three lakh votes. While noted activist and AAP face Medha Patkar was expected to spring a surprise, she turned out to be no threat. Somaiya has been quite active on several fronts and played a critical role in exposing corruption in the Congress-NCP government.

Votes polled: Kirit Somaiya (BJP) - 5,25,285 Victory margin - 3,17,122; Sanjay Patil (NCP) - 2,08,163, Medha Patkar (AAP) - 76,451, NOTA - 7,114

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