A three-time corporator from Mulund, the BJP’s Manoj Kotak, defeated NCP’s Sanjay Dina Patil by 2.26 lakh votes. Of the 9.08 lakh votes polled in the constituency, Kotak got 5.14 lakh votes (56.61%). NCP’s Patil, who had represented the constituency from 2009-2014, got 2.88 lakh votes (31.7%). In 2014 too, he had got just 2.08 lakh votes.
At the counting centre in Vikhroli on Thursday, Kotak said, “It is a collective effort of all Shiv Sena, BJP and RPI workers that ensured our victory.”
He addressed all party workers in the evening and said, “I will strive to fulfil all promises in the next five years.” By mid-afternoon, party workers were in celebration mode as they brought in huge BJP flags and balloons with congratulatory messages for Kotak.
Kotak replaced BJP veteran leader Kirit Somaiya a month before the election as the latter’s candidature was opposed by ally Shiv Sena. True to its word, Sena’s support got Kotak votes from the Marathi-dominated areas of Bhandup and Vikhroli too. Areas like Mulund and Ghatkopar, which has a large Gujarati population also voted for Kotak, a prominent Gujarati face of the party.
These two Assembly segments also had the highest voter turnout, ensuring Kotak’s win.
Of the six Assembly constituencies, Patil got his way only in the Mankhurd-Shivaji Nagar belt, which comprises a large Muslim population. Areas like Ramabai Nagar and Kannamwar Nagar, with a large Dalit population, also favoured VBA’s Niharika Khondalay. Khondalay, the women’s wing president of the Dhangar Samaj Vikas Parishad in the state, secured 68,239 votes.
The constituency also saw 12,466 NOTA votes.