In Lok Sabha polls, Sena protects turf in Mumbai

The Shiv Sena has been able to protect its turf in Mumbai in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The party was able to consolidate its position and give substantial leads to the Shiv Sena-BJP candidates in all its traditional strongholds and Assembly constituencies, reveals data from the recent polls issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI).

The Sena polled in total 11, 71,043 votes in their 14 Assembly segments and gave a lead of 5, 07, 960 votes to saffron candidates. The BJP-Sena combine won all six Lok Sabha seats in the recent polls.

The average lead in each of the 14 Assembly segments was 38,282 votes in the Lok Sabha polls.

This data spells good news for the party as the state will face Assembly polls within five months in October. Mumbai sends 36 of the 288 legislators to the Assembly.

Of the 36 seats, Shiv Sena has 14 seats, BJP 15 and the Congress only five seats. In 2014, all the four main political parties (including NCP) had contested the elections independently.

This is important in light of the upcoming crucial Assembly polls in the coming months.

According to state minister and Sena leader, Ravindra Waikar, the leads indicate the efforts put by the Sena legislators since 2014.

“The Lok Sabha results will be replicated in the Assembly polls and in fact, we will gain a bigger margin than now,” said Waikar. “We had won 14 seats in 2014 on our own strength and with BJP as an ally in the coming polls, we will win with bigger margins,” he added.

Waikar, who represents the Jogeshwari Assembly segment, which comes under Mumbai North West, was able to deliver a lead of 55,719 votes to Sena winning candidate Gajanan Kirtikar.

The highest lead came from Magathane constituency, represented by Sena legislator Prakash Surve, which gave a 71,869-vote lead to BJP candidate Gopal Shetty, who won against actor and Congress candidate Urmila Matondkar by 4,65,247 votes.

The Sena was able to maintain crucial leads in its other strongholds like Shivadi, where it led by 50,032 votes and Mahim, where its margin was 53,490 votes.

However, Sena’s performance was not impressive in the North Central constituency as BJP candidate Poonam Mahajan got thin leads in all three Assembly segments represented by the Sena. In Bandra (East), which houses the residence of Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, Matoshree, the lead was just 1,276 votes and in the other two—Kurla and Kalina — the leads were just 4,698 and 9,485 votes respectively.

Sena leaders said that the poor leads from these segments were because minority communities that dominate these seats don’t vote for BJP, even though they would repose trust in the Sena in the Assembly elections.

However, the Congress has downplayed the results and dismissed that it will have any bearing on the upcoming Assembly elections.

“This whole Lok Sabha was focussed only on Modi and he misled the people in name of nationalism. The Sena has no role in this victory. Also, people vote differently in Assembly and general polls. Given that this state government has been a failure on all fronts and local issues will be more important, the results may be different” said Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant.

First Published:
May 27, 2019 01:14 IST

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