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MNS played spoiler in Mumbai

May 16, 2009 21:13 IST
As the Congress-Nationalist Congress party alliance won all six Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai, party supporters celebrated their victory with firecrackers and music outside the Bombay Exhibition Centre in the northwestern suburb of Goregaon.

In a photofinish by Lok Sabha election standards, Sanjay Nirupam defeated former Union minister Ram Naik in the Mumbai North seat by a slender 5,000 votes.

As the counting concluded, Naik made an early exit, saying, "The MNS is solely responsible for my defeat." The MNS being Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, whose candidates won about 100,000 votes or more in every city constituency, effectively snuffing out the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena challenge.

Priya Dutt won the Mumbai North Central seat by a whopping 319,352 votes, leaving behind the BJP's Mahesh Jethmalani who got 124,797 votes.

Dutt and Nirupam made a grand exit from the counting booth. Supporters wore Sanjay Nirupam masks and waved the Congress flag.

"I thank everyone who voted for me and I am very happy that I have won this election. Now my only aim is to fulfill the promises I made during my rallies," Nirupam said, heading to the Sai Baba temple in Kandivli, northwest Mumbai, to express his gratitude.

Gurudas Kamat won the Mumbai North West seat by 11,000 votes. The ther victorious candidates were Milind Deora from Mumbai South who won by over 112,000 votes, Eknath Gaikwad from Mumbai South Central and the NCP's Sanjay Patil from Mumbai North East.

Nithya Ramani in Mumbai