NMMC elections: Ganesh Naik retains hold on Navi Mumbai

NCP wins 52 out of 111 seats; BJP manages only 6 seats out of the 43 it had contested; rebel candidates eat into the vote share of the saffron alliance

Local satrap Ganesh Naik has won the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) elections again for his outfit, the Nationalist Congress Party. The collective might of the Shiv Sena and BJP could not stop him from winning 52 seats, nine more than the state’s ruling alliance’s total tally.

Ganesh Naik has pulled it off again for the NCP
Ganesh Naik has pulled it off again for the NCP

NMMC’s 111-member house now has 38 corporators from the Sena, six from the BJP and 10 from the Congress. Out of the five Independents elected, most will side with the NCP, giving it a majority in the house. mid-day learnt that the BJP-Sena combine was trying to reach a tacit understanding with Congress corporators to keep Naik’s group away from power.

Naik’s win is seen as an upset for the BJP-Sena combine, which won power in all other corporations, including Aurangabad that went to polls on April 22. The Sena would have got more seats but for a rebellion within its rank and file.

At least seven of Sena’s 64 candidates were defeated because of the rebels, who chose to break away from the party protesting against certain party colleagues. The BJP, which expected to win the maximum number of seats out of the 43 seats it had contested in association with the Sena, increased its tally to six from the solitary seat it held earlier.

“The Sena suffered because of rebels. Otherwise it would have increased its tally and given a close shave to the NCP,” Narayan Jadhav, a political analyst, told mid-day. BJP’s confidence stemmed from its Assembly poll victory against Ganesh Naik.

It has been trying, in association with the Sena, to topple the NCP’s ex-minister, whose family has been controlling NMMC for the past 20 years. Naik, a former Sena MLA, was himself a minister in the Sena-BJP government. He quit the Sena to join NCP ahead of the 1999 Assembly polls and since then till last year has been a Cabinet minister from NCP.

Naik’s elder son was a Member of Parliament before losing the previous polls to the Sena’s Rajan Vichare. His younger son Sandeep had won the Airoli seat while the father lost to BJP’s Manda Mhatre, his long-time rival, by a whisker.

Naik’s nephew Sagar is the mayor in the outgoing NMMC house. The Naik family did not contest the NMMC polls this time because the mayor’s post has been reserved for backward classes for the next five years.

(With inputs from Ankoor Anvekar)

Voices

Ganesh Naik, NCP leader
We have managed to come back in power in Navi Mumbai. Even though we have won 52 seats, we also have got support from five Independent candidates. Further, we will also take support from the Congress party.

Manda Mhatre, BJP MLA, Belapur Assembly constituency
Even we are surprised as to what we lacked. However, we respect the people’s choice and will work harder henceforth.

Vijay Nahata, spokesperson, Shiv Sena
The BJP could not perform well. However, our party workers have worked hard and we are happy with our performance, as compared to previous elections we have managed to bag more seats.

All in the family
Couples, fathers and sons/daughters won the NMMC polls on Thursday from various parties.

Couples
Vinaya and Manohar Madhavi (Sena)
Komal and Somnath Vaskar (Sena)
Shubhangi and Jagdish Gavate (Sena)
Anita and Shivram Patil (Sena)
Ranjana and Sudhar Sonawane (Independents)
Aparna and Navin Gavate (NCP)
Radha and Suresh Kulkarni (NCP)

Father-son duos
Vijay and Mameet Chougule (Sena)
M K Madhavi and Karan Madhavi (Sena)

Father-daughter duos
Ashok and Swapna Gawade (NCP)
Namdev Bhagat (Sena) and Poonam Patil (Congress)

How they came in
NCP (52)
Shiv Sena (38)
Congress (10)
BJP (6) 
Independents (5)

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