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Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Five adjoining seats of Mumbai brace for close showdowns

As of now, all of these seats are under the control of the BJP-led alliance, and given the changed political situation in the state, the Maha Yuti may be favoured to win. However, the MVA may be able to throw up some surprises.
Last Updated : 03 May 2024, 08:44 IST
Last Updated : 03 May 2024, 08:44 IST

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Mumbai: The five adjoining seats of Mumbai spread across the Palghar-Thane-Raigad districts of the coastal Konkan belt in Maharashtra are bracing for an interesting fight where sitting and former MLAs, MPs, ministers, ex-ministers and political heavyweights are in fray.

Excluding Mumbai, the larger Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), which falls in the coastal region of Konkan, covers the majority of the twin districts of Palghar and Thane and some parts of the Raigad district.

The five Lok Sabha seats are Thane, Palghar (ST), Kalyan, Bhiwandi and Raigad.

These seats are important for both political formations in the state - Maha Yuti (NDA) and Maha Vikas Aghadi (I.N.D.I.A. bloc).

As of now, all of these seats are under the control of the BJP-led alliance, and given the changed political situation in the state, the Maha Yuti may be favoured to win. However, the MVA may be able to throw up some surprises.

Among these five seats, the most interesting one is Kalyan, where Chief Minister and Shiv Sena chief Eknath Shinde’s son and two-time sitting MP Dr Shrikant Shinde, an orthopaedic surgeon-turned-politician, is attempting a hat-trick and is pitted against Vaishali Darekar-Rane of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena.

Darekar-Rane is a veteran of the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC), where she became a Corporator twice and was also the Leader of Opposition. Darekar-Rane won her first election in 2000 contesting on a Shiv Sena ticket. After Raj Thackeray walked out of the Shiv Sena to float the MNS, she followed him.

She unsuccessfully fought the Lok Sabha election in 2009 when she was fielded as an MNS candidate and finished third, securing 1,02,063 votes. NCP leader Anand Paranjpe, who was then with the Shiv Sena, won the election.

The Raigad Lok Sabha seat will witness a direct contest between sitting MP Sunil Tatkare, a close aide of Deputy CM and NCP president Ajit Pawar, and former MP and ex-union minister Anant Geete of the Shiv Sena (UBT). Geete is close to former CM Uddhav Thackeray.

The Palghar (ST) seat will witness a triangular contest involving Dr Hemant Savara of the BJP, Bharti Kamdi of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT), and Rajesh Patil of Hitendra Thakur-led Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (VBA), which is an ally of BJP. Vijaya Mhatre of Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi too is in the race. Dr Savara is the son of late Vishnu Savara, who came from an RSS-BJP background and was a six-time MLA and former minister. Kamdi is a Shiv Sena veteran.

In Bhiwandi, two-time sitting BJP MP Kapil Patil, a minister of state for Panchayati Raj in the Narendra Modi government, is pitted against Suresh Gopinath Mhatre alias Balya Mama of the Sharad Pawar-led NCP (SP). The Congress was keen to contest this seat, however, had to give it to Sharad Pawar’s party.

In Thane, Eknath Shinde’s close aide Naresh Mhaske has been fielded against two-time sitting MP Rajan Vichare of the Shiv Sena (UBT). Incidentally, both Vichare and Mhaske are former Shiv Sena Mayors of Thane Municipal Corporation.

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Published 03 May 2024, 08:44 IST

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