Denied a ticket, BJP’s Narendra Pawar, the sitting MLA in Kalyan West, is contesting as an Independent against the alliance’s official candidate Vishwanath Bhoir of the Sena. Pawar was removed by the party on Thursday for disobeying its diktat.
In the 2014 Assembly elections, when the BJP fought alone, Pawar had won the seat. But his tally of 54,388 votes was not that much ahead of the 52,169 that Sena’s Vijay Jagannath Salvi had polled. MNS candidate Prakash Bhoir came third with 20,160 votes.
In the 2009 state polls, Prakash Bhoir had won with 41,111 votes, defeating Sena’s Rajendra Devlekar.
This time, apart from Sena’s Bhoir, Narendra Pawar, Prakash Bhoir of MNS, Kanchan Kulkarni of Congress and Naresh Gaikwad from VBA are in the fray. In this five-way contest, there is some concern about the impact of Pawar’s candidature.
In Kalyan East constituency, on the other hand, Shiv Sena’s rebel candidate Dhananjay Bodare is contesting as an Independent against the official alliance nominee Ganpat Gaikwad, who had won the seat in the 2009 and 2014 polls, but as an Independent.
In the 2009 Assembly polls, Pundlik Balu Mhatre of Shiv Sena had received 36,106 votes. In 2014, Gopal Ramchandra Landge had received 35,612 votes. BJP had polled 18 to 20 per cent of the votes.
Dhananjay Bodare’s rebel candidature will make the fight mainly one between him and the two-time MLA Ganpat Gaikwad. The NCP is the main Opposition here. Its candidate Nilesh Sjivade is hoping to benefit from infighting in the alliance.