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In Thane, 107 fight for 13 seats

Source: PTI
October 12, 2004 19:33 IST
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A total of 55.91 lakh voters in Thane district in Maharashtra are all set to decide the fate of 107 candidates who are in fray in 13 seats for tomorrow's assembly election in the state.

The district is considered a Shiv Sena stronghold, as five MLAs are from the Shiv Sena, two each from the Bharatiya Janata Party and Nationalist Congress Party, and one each from Congress and Communist Party of India - Marxist and two independents.

While the BJP has fielded new candidates, the Shiv Sena and NCP have reposed faith in the incumbents. This has lead to largescale rebellion in the constituencies.

A number of national leaders, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Sena chief Bal Thackeray, BJP leader Lal Kishenchand Advani have toured the region for poll campaigning.

Prominent among 107 candidates are Abu Azmi of Samajwadi Party Suresh Pappu Kalani from Ulhasnagar and Hitendra Thakur from Vasai, Kalani and Thakur have been booked under TADA.

While Kalani is contesting on a Republican Party of India ticket, Thakur is contesting as an independent. In Thane constituency, sitting legislator M D Joshi of the Shiv Sena died some months back and Eknath Shinde has been fielded by the party against Congress's Manoj Shinde -- both sitting corporators.

In Kalyan assembly segment, the BJP has denied a ticket to its sitting MLA Jaggannath Patil, and fielded Mayor Harishchandra Patil against Congress nominee Alka Awlaksar.

In Ulhasnagar, sitting MLA Pappu Kalani is pitted against BJP nominee Kumar Ailiani. In Ambernath, Thane Zilla Parishad president Kisan Rathore of the NCP is pitted against sitting MLA Shabir Shaikh, and RPI nominee Gaikwad and another aspirant Govind Chowdhari, who is contesting as independent.

In Murbad, former BJP MLA Dighambar Vihe has revolted against the party and is contesting as an independent against official party nominee Rajaram Salvi. Salvi is the vice-president of the state unit of the BJP and has incurred the wrath of BJP workers as he is an outsider. He is pitted against NCP sitting MLA Gotiram Pawar.

In Sahapur the NCP has fielded former MLA Mahadoo Varora againist incumbent Daulat Daroda of the Shiv Sena. In Wada, there would be a straight fight between sitting MLA Vishnu Sawra and NCP nominee Suresh Pawar.

In Bhiwandi, where Samajwadi Party chief Abu Azmi has entered the fray, the Congress has fielded its nominee Sujauddin Ansari and the Sena has fielded Yogesh Patil.  Consequent upon the denial of the ticket by the Congress, the sitting MLA Rashid is contesting as an independent.

The Vasai assembly segment will witness a straight fight between the sitting MLA Hitendra Thakur, contesting as an independent, and Shiv Sena's Vivek Pandit, a new entrant in the party.

In Palghar assembly segment, Shiv Sena MLA Manisha Nimkar is pitched against party rebel and a former MLA Avinash Sutar (independent) and Congress's Rajendra Gavit.

Dahanu assembly segment will witnesses a straight fight between the sitting MLA Krishna Goda of the NCP and the Shiv Sena nominee Ishwar Dhodi.

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