The Konkan region consists of five districts and has six Lok Sabha constituencies — Thane, Kalyan, Bhiwandi, Palghar, Raigad and Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg. While the Sena contested five seats, the BJP contested one.
In Thane, Rajan Vichare won the seat with a margin of more than 3.9 lakh votes against NCP’s Anand Paranjape. Despite Vichare facing the ire of residents in some pockets of Thane, he got over 5.56 lakh votes. The area’s Sena party members had set up a viewing center at Thane railway station, where party members were seen celebrating since afternoon. NCP supporters, a few of whom had gathered near the counting centre in Anand Nagar, left by noon. The counting centres were completely deserted by early evening, except for election staff and some party representatives.
In Palghar, the Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA) and CPI(M)’s joint effort against Sena candidate and incumbent MP Rajendra Gavit fell short as Gavit won with a margin of 88,000 votes. This was the second election in two years for Gavit, as he was the BJP candidate in the 2018 bypolls held after MP Chintamani Wanga’s death. The BVA, whose stronghold lies in the urban areas, had faced backlash before the elections as it had lost its symbol and had to contest on a new one — an autorickshaw.
The Sena was challenged by the NCP and Narayan Rane, president of the Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha, in the region. Rane had fielded his son, Nilesh, from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg seat. “The cancellation of the Nanar refinery project worked in our favour as it impressed people in the region. Besides, the region has had a special relationship with the Sena since Balasaheb’s time and has maintained the same now as well. Also, the common man was the centre of the Narendra Modi-led government’s agenda of development. All these factors worked in our favour,” said Vinayak Raut, party secretary and Shiv Sena MP from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg.
A Sena leader said the party lost the Raigad seat due to infighting and the fact that the Peasants and Workers Party supported NCP.
In Bhiwandi, sitting MP Kapil Patil, the only BJP candidate in the three areas, had requested people to vote for him to make Modi win, even if they didn’t like his work. He won with a margin of over 1.4 lakhs against Congress’s Suresh Taware. In 2014, the Sena and BJP had fought four and two Lok Sabha seats respectively and won all of them.