MUMBAI: The city continued its tradition to go with the national mood in the Lok Sabha elections as the BJP-led NDA won all six seats with big margins here. The BJP and Shiv Sena won three seats each.
The metropolis has always stood with the party which forms government at the Centre ever since 1984.
BJP’s Poonam Mahajan-Rao and Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant emerged as giant killers.
They made a big dent in the Congress bastion in Mumbai North-Central and Mumbai-South. Poonam defeated two-time MP Priya Dutt by 1.5 lakh votes.
Sawant, who was tagged as a weak candidate by his opponents won against Union Minister of State for Shipping Milind Deora by 1.28 lakh votes.
Congress heavyweight Gurudas Kamat lost to Shiv Sena veteran Gajanan Kirtikar in Mumbai North-West by 1.50 lakh votes.
Two-time MP Eknath Gaikwad of Congress had to face defeat at the hands of a first-timer Rahul Shewale of Shiv Sena by 1.38 lakh votes. BJP MLA Gopal Shetty romped home with the party’s highest margin of 4.56 lakh votes against Congress’ Sanjay Nirupam in Mumbai North. BJP’s Kirit Somaiya, known as anti-corruption crusader, defeated NCP MP Sanjay Patil in Mumbai North-East by 3 lakh votes.
Infighting in the Congress has led to the party’s defeat in Mumbai. Two prominent leaders Naseem Khan and Kripashankar Singh stayed away from Priya’s campaign. She could not take a lead in Bandra (West) where she lives.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s (MNS) decision not to field candidate against Priya worked in Poonam’s favour. Her victory is significant in view of the fact that Priya’s winning margin in 2009 election was 1.7 lakh votes.
Deora’s act to enter mosque in March with his footwear had upset the Congress’ traditional voters, the Muslims who chose to back the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) instead. AAP’s Meera Sanyal ate a major pie with 40,000 votes against Deora.
Sawant managed to secure a comfortable victory despite MNS candidate Bala Nandgaonkar getting 84,000 votes because the non-Maharashtrian voters stood firmly behind him against “inaccessible” Deora.
“I have decided to play the role of a responsible Opposition member,” Deora said.
Kamat, known as a man of organisation, failed to move his cadre.