Shiv Sena wins BMC by-election

Shiv Sena candidate Kamlakar Naik,son of deceased corporator Shantaram Naik,won the by-election held in Kurla Terminus-Kamgar Nagar ward.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:January 20, 2009 3:16 am

Shiv Sena candidate Kamlakar Naik,son of deceased corporator Shantaram Naik,won the by-election held in Kurla Terminus-Kamgar Nagar ward. The Congress—NCP alliance lost to the Sena by a margin of 915 votes. The by-election was held on Sunday after the seat fell vacant following Shantaram’s death last year. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced the results on Monday.

Kamlakar gathered 8564 votes against NCP’s Shashikant Thorat (7649 votes) and MNS’s Manali Lad (1979 votes). A total of nine candidates including six independent candidates contested in the by-election. Though the Congress supported Thorat,he failed to gather maximum votes in the by-election.

“The wave of sympathy was too strong and this helped Naik win the by-election,” said Rajhans Singh,Congress leader in the BMC. But,Sena leader Sunil Prabhu said the sympathy vote was not the major factor that helped the Sena win the by-election.

“Development work done by Shantaram Naik during his tenure and his rapport with the citizens led to his son’s victory. This only shows that Mumbaikars support the Sena when it comes to elections and not the opposition parties (Congress,NCP),” he said.

The by-election had become important for the ruling as well as the opposition parties in BMC. In a total of 227 seats,the ruling saffron combine— Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party allaince has 110 seats while the Congress- Nationalist Congress Party and the MNS share 108 seats. Due to disqualification of candidates over caste certificate,the other seats are lying vacant and waiting for a ruling from the Bombay High Court.

Had the NCP or MNS won the seat,the opposition would have got 109 seats. This is very close to the ruling parties’ seat-share in the civic body. However,Singh hopes to gain majority in the next few months. “The results of three disqualified Sena corporators is pending in the high court and we are sure that the results will be in favour of Congress-NCP allaince,” he said.

Last year,the court order was in favour of the second-highest winning Jagdish Kutty of the Congress. Sena corporator Subhash Kanta Sawant from Chakala,Sahar airport,was disqualified. However,Sena—BJP alliance opposed the move saying re-elections should be held instead of electing the second-highest winning candidate as a corporator. The declaration had resulted in a seat’s loss for the ruling party and brought the opposition closer to the majority.

Re-election usually provides a strong chance to the original winning candidate’s party to win again instead of losing out to the second-highest winning candidate.

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