Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ganesh Naik’s secular image, popularity among locals and his public work

With the state assembly polls just 3 months away, the political equations are taking shape in Navi Mumbai. While results of Lok Sabha polls held just 2 months ago reveal party and individual standings in each assembly constituency, the Airoli and Belapur constituency is clearly the NCP stronghold. Even as the Congress and NCP are debating and considering options whether their alliance should be or not be, in Navi Mumbai beyond doubt, the supremacy of Ganesh Naik appears solid as a rock.

Ganesh Naik's candidature alone in Airoli can, not only ensure sure victory but also increase the lead of the Lok Sabha mandate – irrespective of who is the rival Shiv Sena – BJP candidate. And all probability it will be Vijay Chougule. In Belapur too, NCP party loyalists insist that the NMMC Standing Committee Chairman Sandeep Naik is their best bet, while speculations are high of MLC Manda Mhatre getting the candidature for the constituency. MLC Manda Mhatre supporters say that Sharad Pawar’s advocating 50% reservation for women during his last visit to Navi Mumbai has is one reason for MLC Manda Mhatre surfacing as a potential candidate from Belapur constituency.

Reliable sources say that between Shiv Sena’s Dr. Rajesh Patil and BJP’s Suresh Haware, the latter’s candidature is confirm. And it is indeed doubtful if any Congress or NCP candidate could match the merit or money muscle of Suresh Haware, barring Sandeep Naik.

If Sandeep Naik does get the candidature from Belapur constituency, there definitely will be allegations mostly instigated by the opposition ranks about the growing Naik family clout in the city. Yet without doubt, the family enjoys strong support from the cosmopolitan electorate in the city and also from several sections in the opposition parties too. Political analysts believe that the contest is quite clear.

In Thane in the recently held Lok Sabha poll Out of the total 24 assembly seats in the 4 Lok Sabha constituencies of Thane :
• the NCP led in 7 assembly seats,
• the Congress led in 2 assembly seats,

Ganesh Naik’s secular image, popularity among locals and his public work being a cabinet Minister in Navi Mumbai is unmatched. And the high commands know for a fact that if the 2 seats in Navi Mumbai have to be retained by the Congress-NCP front, then the candidature of Ganesh Naik from Airoli and Sandeep Naik from Belapur appears to be foregone conclusion – the only viable option.

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