NEW DELHI—One of the few exceptions to the state-wide electoral trends in the Maharashtra election, in which either the BJP-Shiv Sena or NCP-Congress alliances have dominated in most assembly segments, is the Dahanu constituency in which the Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate Vinod Bhiva Nikole is leading by 3726 votes.
Located about two hours from the state capital Mumbai, Dahanu is a coastal town in Palghar district, which has a substantial Adivasi population. Once a Left bastion, the seat was won by the Nationalist Congress Party in 2004 and 2009 assembly election and the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2014 polls.
On Thursday, as counting began, the BJP’s Dhanare Paskal Janya was leading over the CPM’s Vinod Bhiva Nikole. However, as counting progressed, the leads changed and, as per the latest trends, the Left candidate is leading.
Interestingly, exactly the opposite has occurred in the Nashik’s Kalwan constituency where the CPM’s sitting MLA Jiva Pandu Gavit was leading by several thousand votes since morning. He is now trailing by 6090 votes.
Gavit became the face of the historic Kisan Long March in March 2018 when thousands of farmers, wearing red, marched into Mumbai’s Azad Maidan to highlight the farmers’ distress in the state.
In the 2019 Maharashtra assembly election, the CPM contested in at least four seats.