Friday, October 23, 2009

Navi Mumbai puts faith in Ganesh Naiks

Thane district Guardian Minister and Nationalist Congress Party's (NCP) candidate Ganesh Naik retained his Belapur seat registering 59,685 of the total 1,46,342 votes cast during October 13 assembly polls. Shiv Sena-BJP's joint candidate Suresh Haware, who was expected to give a tough fight to the NCP heavyweight, garnered 46,812 votes, while Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) candidate Rajendra Mahale and independent contestant Namdeo Rama Bhagat bagged 19,569 and 14,516 votes respectively.
Naik maintained lead over other candidates right from the first round of the counting, held at Vashi's Sacred Heart School on Thursday. The veteran leader registered 429 more votes than Haware who received 2,222 votes in the first round. The initial two rounds saw Naik and Haware competing closely, but from the fifth round, the gap between the votes bagged by the two widened with Naik getting 3327 votes and the builder-turned-politician scoring 1,429 votes at the end of the round. By seventh round, Naik's lead soared by 6,418 and after 14th round he was 9,619 votes ahead and continued the rally till the final 23rd round.
Though, Naik enjoys strong voters base in Belapur, entry of the renowned builder Haware into politics around six months ago had led to few uncertainties in the constituency as the BJP along with ally Shiv Sena, ensured the saffron alliance left no stone unturned to see Naik's defeat. Besides, the last minute rebel by Bhagat and other city Congress corporators triggered speculations whether Naik would be able to make it to the House for the fourth term.
Bhagat, was expected to eat into maximum of Naik's votes, but that could not be seen happening for the ex-Navi Mumbai Congress chief. On the other hand, MNS's Rajendra (Pappu) Mahale receiving votes close to 20,000, is considered as the crucial factor behind BJP-Sena losing the seat.
"The victory is due to the love and faith people of Navi Mumbai have in me. People have elected me because of the hard work put by me and our activists for the city through corporation and other channels," said an elated Ganesh Naik. When asked whether the lead he took was up to the expectations, he said, "For me winning the election is more important. If the lead is not as per the expectation, then it's because of the non co-operation by some of the city Congressmen. However, we are happy with whatever support we received from others in the Congress party."
DNA news

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