Shiv Sena retains Thane, Paranjpe wins Lok Sabha poll (Lead)

May 25th, 2008 - 3:02 pm ICT by admin  

Thane, May 25 (IANS) The Shiv Sena Sunday retained the Thane Lok Sabha constituency with its candidate Anand Paranjpe winning the by-election with an impressive margin of 86,000 votes against his nearest rival Sanjeev Naik of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Sunday. Anand, son of Shiv Sena MP Prakash Paranjpe whose death in February caused the by-poll, took the lead over Naik right from the first round. The impressive lead went on increasing, surprising everybody including the jubilant Shiv Sena workers.

While the final tally of the votes scored by the two main contenders was not officially available, sources at the counting centre in Navi Mumbai’s Agriculture Produce Market Committee premises said that Paranjpe had won by a margin of over 86,000 votes.

As slogan shouting from supporters of both the parties rose to a frenzied pitch as counting was in progress, the official announcement of votes scored was stopped after the second round with Paranjpe leading by 15,000 votes.

This was done in order to prevent any untoward incident in the keenly contested by-election, election officers and police sources said.

The tension receded soon afterwards with NCP workers leaving the premises in hordes once their candidate began to trail irreversibly.

With only 900,000 of the total registered voters (26 percent) exercising their franchise last week, prediction of the outcome had become extremely difficult although the Shiv Sena appeared to have a slender edge.

“We were sure of victory but did not expect to win by such a huge margin,” Shiv Sena legislator from Thane Eknath Shinde said after the ninth round of counting, with three more rounds to go.

Shiv Sena’s Prakash Paranjpe had won the 2004 election against Vasant Davkhare of NCP by a slender margin of 22,000 votes. Subsequently, the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance captured most of the civic bodies in the local self-government elections in 2007.

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