26/11 notwithstanding, Congress-NCP make clean sweep of Mumbai

Last Updated: Sat, May 16, 2009 17:05 hrs

Mumbai, May 16 (IANS) The Mumbai terror attacks of last year notwithstanding, the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combine made a clean sweep in the country's commercial capital by bagging all the six seats Saturday.

The Shiv Sena lost the single seat it had held in 2004, Mumbai South, represented by five-time MP Mohan Rawale. Prior to the delimitation of constituencies, it was Mumbai South-Central.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena candidates were widely perceived to have eaten into the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena votes. In some constituencies - like Mumbai South - it even exceeded the saffron combine's tally. The MNS had contested 12 out of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra.

While the BJP held Raj Thackeray's MNS responsible for the rout of the saffron combine in Mumbai, Shiv Sena executive president Udhav Thackeray dismissed the contention.

'The MNS had no impact on the poll outcome in the city,' Udhav Thackeray told mediapersons here Saturday evening. While congratulating the Congress-NCP on its stunning victory in parliamentary elections, he called upon the Congress to 'rectify all its past mistakes'.

Udhav Thackeray said the terror attacks had no impact on Mumbaikars while voting in the 2009 elections.

The Congress winners were Sanjay Nirupam (Mumbai North), Gurudas Kamat (Mumbai North-West), Priya Dutt (Mumbai North-Central), Eknath Gaekwad (South Central) and Milind Deora (Mumbai South). Sanjay Patil of the NCP won from Mumbai North-East.

Prominent BJP candidates who lost were Ram Naik, Kirit Somaiya and Mahesh Jethmalani. Gajanan Kirtikar of the Shiv Sena and Shalini Thackeray of the MNS, the first daughter-in-law of the extended Thackeray family to contest polls, also lost.

For the BJP, this is the second time since 2004 that it will not have any representation from Mumbai. Last time, its stalwarts like Naik, Somaiya and Jaywantiben Mehta had to bite the dust.

Last time, the Sena had bagged only Mumbai South-Central by defeating the NCP's Sachin Aher, but its powerful candidates Manohar Joshi and Nirupam had lost.

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