Maharashtra Polls: MNS shown the door, MIM makes inroads

While Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena went from six MLAs to zero in the city, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen won in its first-ever election in Mumbai, from the Byculla constituency

The State Assembly elections have brought down the curtains for the political relevance of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), at least for the next five years.

AIMIM’s Waris Pathan (in brown shirt) celebrates his maiden victory in Mumbai. Pic/Atul Kamble
AIMIM’s Waris Pathan (in brown shirt) celebrates his maiden victory in Mumbai. Pic/Atul Kamble

The party, which had 13 Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in the state, has been reduced to just one. In Mumbai, the MNS has been shown the door completely, going from six to zero MLAs. Meanwhile, a new party, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, has made inroads into the state.

MNS went from 13 MLAs in the state to one. In the city, it now has no MLAs, compared to six earlier. File pic
MNS went from 13 MLAs in the state to one. In the city, it now has no MLAs, compared to six earlier. File pic

MNS chief Raj Thackeray had said he would not contest Lok Sabha elections and would concentrate on state polls only. But his strategy doesn’t seemed to have worked in the state as well.

The lone MLA from MNS is Sharaddada Sonavane, and he, too, is an import from arch-rival Shiv Sena. In the city, where the MNS had stood as the second-largest party, it lost all its six seats five of them to Shiv Sena.

In Mahim, where party chief Raj Thackeray resides, former MLA Nitin Sardesai lost to Shiv Sena’s Sada Sarvankar by 5,941 votes. Bala Nandgaonkar tasted defeat in Sewri, Shishir Shinde in Bhandup West, Pravin Darekar in Magathane and Mangesh Sangole in Vikhroli. Its sixth MLA, Ram Kadam, jumped ship to the BJP and won from Ghatkopar West.

New entrant
Meanwhile, a new political party emerged in the state scenario the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen. The Hyderabad-based outfit won two seats in the state: one each in Mumbai (Byculla) and Aurangabad (Aurangabad Central).

In Byculla, the AIMIM’s candidate, advocate Waris Pathan, beat BJP’s Madhu (Dada) Chavan to win the seat by a margin of 1,357 votes. In Aurangabad, its nominee Imtiyaz Jaleel defeated Sena’s Pradeep Jaiswal by nearly 20,000 votes. The party came third in Versova and Mumbadevi, and stood second in Aurangabad East.

If vote shares are to be examined, the MNS had a share of 3.1 per cent, compared to newbie AIMIM, which managed 0.9 per cent of total votes cast in the state. Speaking to mid-day, a senior BJP leader said, “Voters didn’t want a confused party.

First, Raj Thackeray praised Modi. Then he attacked him, went back to praising him and then took potshots at him again. Voters started raising questions whether he was with Modi or against him. This affected them and the MNS suffered heavily.”

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