Shiv Sena set to win Thane Lok Sabha battle (Lead)May 25th, 2008 - 3:07 pm ICT by admin
Thane, May 25 (IANS) Shiv Sena’s Anand Paranjpe was racing towards victory in the Thane Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra, taking an unbeatable lead of 60,000 votes over Sanjeev Naik of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Anand, son of Shiv Sena MP Prakash Paranjpe whose death in February caused the by-poll, was ahead of Naik right from the first round. The lead went on increasing all through surprising everybody including the jubilant Shiv Sena workers.
As slogan shouting from supporters of both the parties rose to a frenzied pitch in front of the Agriculture Produce Market Committee premises where 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 as the tension mounted at the vote counting venue, election officers and police sources said.
The tension receded soon afterwards with NCP workers leaving the premises in hordes as their candidate began to trail irreversibly.
With only 900,000 of the total 3.6 million registered voters (26 percent) exercising their franchise on a hot summer Thursday, prediction of the outcome had become extremely difficult though Shiv Sena was seen 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 told reporters at the end of the ninth round of counting with three more rounds to go.
While Shiv Sena’s Prakash Paranjpe won the 2004 election against Vasant Davkhare of NCP by a slender margin of 22,000 votes, NCP candidates in the state assembly election held immediately after that had scored a total margin of 110,000 votes.
The Shiv Sena-BJP alliance, however, captured most of the civic bodies in the local self-government election held in 2007.