A clean sweep in Modi wave

NOTA occupied the fifth position - 11,009 opted for it, representing 1.23 per cent of the vote share. ( Source: Reuters ) NOTA occupied the fifth position - 11,009 opted for it, representing 1.23 per cent of the vote share. ( Source: Reuters )

Sena underdog ends Milind Deora’s 10-year smooth run (Mumbai South)

The anti-incumbency coupled with the Modi factor delivered a surprise win to Shiv Sena’s underdog candidate Arvind Sawant, who uprooted Milind Deora from Mumbai South, a seat the Congress MP has held for a decade now. Sawant won by a margin of 1.3 lakh votes.

What’s most surprising is Deora lost a major chunk of votes  in the upscale and posh Malabar Hills area, where Sawant garnered 90,604 votes against Deora’s 29,944 votes.

Deora, who gracefully accepted defeat long before the poll results were out, said, “Several non-Sena supporters also voted for the party to bring NDA in power at the centre. During my campaign, I got the feedback that even if people did not know the three other party candidates, they were still going to vote for them because somewhere they were unhappy with Congress.”

Sawant said, “The Modi factor played a major role in our win by such a huge margin. Cluster development, revival of old mills and work for employment generation will be my priorities.”

Deora said, “This time people have overlooked local issues and candidates and focussed on voting for one party.”
MNS’s Bala Nandgaonkar, who had come second in 2009, just got 84,773 votes, followed by AAP candidate Meera Sanyal who got 40,298 votes. Both lost their deposits.

Sanyal, who stayed inside the counting centre till the very end, later told Newsline, “We were hoping to touch a higher vote share. But this is just the beginning, there is still a lot of work to do. This time the so-called Modi-wave led to such a sweeping victory of Sena-BJP.” Of the 7.7 lakh votes cast in the constituency, NOTA votes stood at 9,563.  — By Tabassum Barnagarwala

 

Mahajan foils Dutt’s hat-trick (Mumbai North Central)

Riding the Narendra Modi wave and the anti-incumbency, BJP candidate Poonam Majahan garnered more than half of the total 8.45 lakh votes from the Mumbai North Central constituency, considered one of the safest Congress seats. Mahajan beat the two-time MP Priya Dutt by 1.86 lakh votes.

“The results are better than we expected. I’m overwhelmed with the love and support I have received from my constituency. They have shown they are above petty vote bank politics and stand by Modi’s development model,” Mahajan said after her victory.

The BJP received tremendous support from Vile Parle and Chandivali Assembly constituencies, which incidentally also recorded the highest voter turnout. The main battle between the two contenders were seen in the minority-dominated MLA constituencies of Kalina, Kurla CST and Bandra East.

“Poor voter turnout from slum areas greatly benefited our performance, many educated people who are tired of the Congress voted for us. Moreover, the minorities choose to stay away, dropping their voter turnout by 7 per cent. Meanwhile, more Hindus came out for us, increasing their voter turnout by 13 per cent, which ultimately went in our favour,” said a BJP polling agent.

A forlorn Dutt, who only had her aide MLA Baba Siddique by her side, conceded defeat around 2.15 pm. “With great humility, I accept defeat.

I congratulate Poonam Mahajan and BJP for this huge win. People have given a decisive verdict. Here, people voted for the party, and not the candidate,” said Dutt. “Although a huge setback, I have no regrets. I had worked very hard and with honesty and commitment. I was not able to meet people’s expectations.”

While AAP candidate Phiroze Palkhivala got 34,824 votes to finish third, SP’s candidate Farhan Azmi could barely get 9,873 votes and came in fifth. Azmi blamed his party’s decision to support the Congress despite corruption charges as a major reason for his failure. — By Alison Saldanha  and Anjali Lukose

 

Good show in Dharavi adds to Sena win (Mumbai South Central)

Disillusionment with the Congress in Dharavi, traditionally its strong bastion, and tepid performance of the MNS, especially in the Marathi heartland of Dadar-Mahim, ensured Shiv Sena’s victory in Mumbai South Central, a seat won by Congress’s Eknath Gaikwad for the last two terms.

Sena’s Rahul Shewale defeated Gaikwad by 1.38 lakh votes, having polled 49.5 per cent of the total votes. Shewale had a winning margin in all the six Assembly segments of this constituency, including a slight one in Dharavi.

Gaikwad polled 2.43 lakh votes, or 31.6 per cent of the total votes. In the Dharavi Assembly constituency, a major slum pocket with a sizable number of Muslims, south Indians as well as Marathi voters, Shewale drew about 44 per cent of the votes polled. Gaikwad was close with about 42 per cent of the votes polled in Dharavi, which by Friday evening was decked with saffron flags.

“It is just the Modi factor, and not anything about the winner’s credentials. While the Modi campaign was very aggressive, we faltered in informing the public about the work we have done. Even the votes we lost in Dharavi were because of the Modi factor. Otherwise people know we have done a lot of work there. That is why it was such a close shave in Dharavi,” said Gaikwad, whose daughter is an MLA from Dharavi.

Talking to mediapersons, Shewale said, “The Modi factor certainly helped me. Moreover, people were really tired with the Congress at the Centre and an incumbent MP for two consecutive terms.” He acknowledged that MNS’s lukewarm performance also helped him win.
Sena had lost in the previous Lok Sabha election here since many of the anti-Congress votes, which would have otherwise all gone to Sena, went in favour of the MNS.

However, this time, MNS’s Aditya Shirodkar got less than 10 per cent of the total votes. Moreover, in the Assembly seats of Mahim and Wadala, which include large Marathi-speaking belts such as Dadar, Shivaji Park and Parel, Shirodkar won just 19 per cent and 10 percent of total votes, respectively. Shewale, on the other hand, polled 54 per cent and 52 per cent of total votes, respectively.

While Shirodkar was unavailable for comment, his campaign manager said he did not wish to speak to anyone on Friday. — By Manasi Phadke (With inputs from Tanushree Venkatraman)

 

BJP’s Gopal Shetty beats Nirupam by 4.5 lakh votes (Mumbai North)

BJP candidate for Mumbai North Gopal Chinayya Shetty beat sitting Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam by 4,46,582 votes, the biggest victory margin in the state. Shetty polled 6,64,004 votes against Nirupam’s 2,17,422 votes.

In the first round itself, Shetty  garnered 32, 351 votes while Nirupam trailed with 12,614 votes. Shetty’s biggest vote count came from Dahisar, while Nirupam’s figures fluctuated to the lowest number between Borivali, Dahisar and Malad. Through the counting, Shetty remained calm, only breaking into a smile every time the count was announced.

In 2009, Nirupam had won against BJP’s Ram Naik by just over 5,000 votes with the overwhelming support of the huge migrant north Indian population.  AAP’s candidate Satish Parimal Jain finished third, securing 32,264 votes. There were 8,758 NOTA votes in the constituency. The MNS had not fielded any candidate for the seat.

“I was confident from the first round itself that I will win,” Shetty said. When the final results were announced early in the evening, a Narendra Modi look-alike arrived at the venue and began distributing ladoos.

“For me, the first thing is to ensure people in my constituency have a better experience while taking local trains and commuting through railway stations. Many from my constituency have met with railway accidents, which have remained largely neglected,” Shetty said. – By Megha Sood

 

Gujaratis ensure huge win for Somaiya (Mumbai North East)

Gaining a significant high on both Gujarati and Marathi vote bank, BJP candidate from Mumbai North East Kirit Somaiya rode to victory, garnering 5,25,285 votes of the total 8,61,994 polled. He beat rival candidate and NCP’s Sanjay Dina Patil with 2,08,163 votes, by a huge margin of 3,17,285 votes. Patil had won the election in 2009 by a slender margin of 2,933 votes.

Ghatkopar (east) and Mulund, populated with Gujaratis, favoured the new MP with 95,369 and 1,21,754 votes translating into 41% of his total vote share.

Mankhurd, however, presented a dismal picture for Somaiya where he got a paltry 33,816 votes. Compared to Somaiya and AAP’s Medha Patkar, Patil scored the highest in Mankhurd with 57,380 votes. Bhandup, considered Patil’s home turf, could add only 36,277 votes to his total tally when compared to 1,01,176 votes to that of Somaiya’s.

Patkar, who chose the slums of Mankhurd as the venue for her last day’s campaign (also she started her People’s Movement 38 years ago from here), managed to influence a mere 15,237 voters from the area.

Somaiya, who got a mammoth 60.93% of the total votes polled in the constituency, also gained from Marathi voters in Mulund (west), Vikhroli and Bhandup irrespective of votes not being counted from two faulty EVMs . “The Republican Party of India coalition helped garner votes, especially, from Mulund (west) and Ramabai in Ghatkopar (east),” said a BJP worker.

Gunwanti Jayantilal Somaiya (82) said that she had foreseen her son’s victory during the days of his campaign. “Somaiya is the most matured amongst all family members,” said the mother.

Flashing a wide grin at his Mulund office-cum-residence, 60-year-old Somaiya revealed that he had told BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi a long time ago that he (Somaiya) will win the seat.

“I have already made plans for railways. The work for reducing the gap at platforms will begin within a month’s time, whereas, railway accident victim Monika More, who lost her arms, will get new electronic arms within a week from now,” said Somaiya.

Patkar, his rival candidate from the same constituency, had alleged that Somaiya and NCP’s Sanjay Dina Patil, exceeded the spending limit fixed by Election Commission during campaigning for Lok Sabha elections.

Refuting her claims, Somaiya said there was “nothing more left to fuss over”. “One can see that nothing has come out after all the hullabaloo. She can do whatever she wants, as it does not matter anymore. People have shown their confidence by their mandate,” he said.

To woo Muslim-dominated pockets in Shivaji Nagar, where Somaiya got the least number of votes in his total count, the winning candidate said he would ensure a special scheme for water supply under the poverty alleviation programme of the government within three months. “Even though they did not vote for me, I will offer them water supply,” said an elated Somaiya at the counting centre at Vikhroli.

Calling Modi’s style of politics as “Modinomics”, a visibly dejected Patkar told newsline, “It is shocking result for us. However, the country will soon realise what Modinomics is all about. The bJP has spent huge some of money on the election campaign for its publicity and this has helped it get the mandate.” — By Priyal Dave and Aamir Khan

 

Early into counting, Kamat knew it was all over (Mumbai North West)

At the end of the fourth round itself, the Gurudas Kamat camp seemed to have conceded defeat. While the difference between sitting Congress MP (with 14,910 votes) and his Shiv Sena rival Gajanan Kirtikar (with 22,907 votes) was 7,997 at the end of round one, Kirtikar was ahead by 99,588 votes at the end of 11 rounds. At the end of 24 rounds, Kirtikar won with a massive margin of 1,83,028 votes. Ironically, Kamat had secured about 2.53 lakh votes in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. But this time, though he secured over 2.81 lakh votes, it was not enough to beat his Shiv Sena rival.

AAP’s Mayank Gandhi and MNS’s Mahesh Manjrekar were never seen to be in the running from the first round itself, when they got 2,483 and 3,276 votes respectively.

Voting patterns across the six Assembly segments in the constituency – Jogeshwari, Dindoshi, Goregaon, Versova, Andheri (West), Andheri (East) – showed that while Kirtikar maintained a comfortable lead right from the first round, there were fluctuations, when Kamat managed to put up a good fight in certain rounds and was also ahead in a few of them. When panic set in during the earlier rounds, the Kamat camp had then pegged their hopes on votes from Muslim-dominated areas coming to their rescue.

“There is no chance of revival. This is a national trend and we accept the verdict gracefully. We should now start thinking on playing a constructive role in the opposition. The Congress has lost the confidence of the people and it’s the people who have defeated us,” said Kamat’s nephew Sameer Desai, a former corporator.

“Several factors were at play. The resentment of the people against the Congress, the Modi wave and the hard work we and our party workers put in,” said Kirtikar, who had estimated a winning margin of 75,000 votes.

Taking a dig at MNS, he said people have realised that voting for MNS is as good as voting for the Congress. “The MNS just talks, they have done nothing for the people and have been washed away,” he said.

In the end, Kirtikar secured 4,64,820 or 51.89 per cent of the total votes polled (8,95,623), while Kamat got 2,81,792 or 31.46 per cent of the vote share. Manjrekar got 66,088 or 7.37 per cent and Gandhi was positioned fourth with 51,860 or 5.79 per cent of the vote share.

“We never expected to do so badly. Besides the Modi wave, it is people’s perception of Arvind Kejriwal after he left the Delhi government that turned voters away from us. We did a very lively campaign, adopted 200 housing societies and went door-to-door asking for votes, but were unable to convert the goodwill into votes,” said an AAP member.

NOTA occupied the fifth position – 11,009 opted for it, representing 1.23 per cent of the vote share.

Anil Parab, Legislative Council member and Kirtikar’s campaign manager, attributed this to the low voter turnout in Muslim-dominated localities. “In places like Jogeshwari and Gilbert Hill, we had expected a turnout of 65 per cent to vote against Modi.. But the actual turnout was only 45 per cent. In the 2009 elections, Jogeshwari had been our weak area, and we worked hard to stay in touch with voters over five years. Kirtikar’s performance in Andheri (West) had been key to his victory. We also made Kamat’s non-performance an issue. His attendance in Parliament was low and he had asked only one question during his term,” said Parab. – By Srinath Rao and Mihika Basu