Raj spoils BJP-Sena hopes again

“In three years, from zero to 13, is a great achievement,” Raj told a news conference at the party’s office at Krishnakunj, asking Shiv Sena to introspect why it lost the elections for the third time in a row.

Notwithstanding the denials of both Raj and of Shiv Sena, it has become clear that the division of votes between the two Thackeray cousines –– Raj and the Sena executive president Uddhav –– cost the Sena-BJP alliance dearly, like in the Lok Sabha elections.
During the LS polls, the Sena-BJP had lost nine Parliamentary seats due to the vote eating by the MNS. This time, a preliminary analysis shows that the Sena-BJP lost almost 16 seats in Mumbai and Thane due to the MNS factor.

For example, in Kurla assembly segment, the NCP’s Milind Kamble won by polling 41,891 votes. His two rivals divided the opposition votes between themselves to facilitate his victory. Sena’s Mangesh Kudalkar got 34,920 votes while MNS’ Sadashiv Lokhande got 33,937 votes. Both Sena and the MNS depend upon the same Marathi Manoos for votes.
In Colaba assembly segment in South Mumbai, BJP’s sitting MLA Raj Purohit lost the election. He polled 31,722 votes, and the MNS’ Arvind Gawde got 22,756 votes. The winner was Congress’ Anni Shekhar, who polled 39,779 votes. Had there been no MNS, then the BJP would have easily won the seat

Raj, responding to queries from the journalists, said he would keep his legislators under tight leash and will see that they perform and do the people’s work. Even if the ruling coalition does not need his support, he said he will ensure that the government delivers on its various promises.

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