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Civic poll 2015: MNS decides to stay out of poll fray

Navi Mumbai: After Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has decided not to contest the civic poll this time although local functionaries were keen to jump into the fray.
In the last election, MNS contested from 60 seats. However, it was not able to win even a single seat. Despite the huge setback last time, MNS leaders are upset over the decision taken this time by their chief, Raj Thackeray, on Thursday not to contest the poll.
Political analysts said Raj took the call to bar the party's cadres from contesting the poll because he was not happy over the number of functionaries left in the city. The party was deserted before the assembly election. Even before the Lok Sabha poll, a few top functionaries had switched loyalties to Shiv Sena and BJP. Post assembly poll, 30 volunteers joined Sena whereas 15 functionaries got into BJP.
Jitendra Kamble, former corporator and city head, dumped the party with 100 other frontline volunteers during the state poll. It was the reason for the major debacle to MNS in Navi Mumbai, which was a citadel of the party once upon a time.
This changing equation prompted Raj to ask his remaining local cadres to sit out. However, two big leaders, Baba Godke and Sandeep Galgude, chose not to leave the party and be loyal.
But Gajanan Khavale, another big leader who fought the last assembly election on an MNS ticket from Airoli, is set to float his own party. " 
There's no future of the party now in the satellite city, which once gave Raj a thumps-up. The charm is over," said an MNS worker.
Political observers believe that Sena and BJP will be the major beneficiaries of MNS's vote share.
Datta Ghangale and Krushna Patil, former MNS leaders who joined BJP, are contesting from their respective seats in Seawoods and Ghansoli.
Similarly, Vilas Mhatre, who switched to Shiv Sena, will fight from Koparkhairane.
"With MNS being abandoned from the civic poll, all political parties will woo the erstwhile MNS followers," said a political analyst.


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