Navi Mumbai: Ganesh Naik may contest from Airoli though the candidature of his second son Sandeep Naik has been announced by the BJP-SS-RPI(A)-Shivsangram-RKSS grand alliance. Irrespective of who contests, the alliance is in comfort zone in Airoli, Belapur, Panvel and Uran, as per the votes polled by the alliance candidates in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls.
Manda Mhatre won by a slender margin in Belapur in the last Assembly polls in 2014, but then the BJP and SS were not in alliance and the SS candidate Vijay Nahata was not far behind. Hence the alliance candidate could sail smoothly through.
Whether Ganesh Naik contests or Sandeep Naik as the BJP candidate in Airoli, there appears to be no challenge left with all the NCP corporators in the constituency having shifted allegiance to the BJP.
In Panvel, Prashant Thakur is expected to win by a larger margin as several local leaders from the opposition parties have shifted loyalties to the BJP in recent months in the constituency. Further Haresh Keni of PWP, though supported by the Congress and NCP, a new entrant in the fray may not be able to match up to the resources of the Thakur family in the constituency.
In Uran, Manohar Bhoir of the SS is on safe ground, in spite of a BJP rebel Mahesh Baldi expected to contest as a rebel. Bhoir had won by a small margin in the 2014 Assembly election, when the BJP contested separately. Hence the alliance would give him a larger margin, as his main rival, Vivekanand Patil of PWP has also not been in good health in recent times.
Thus, though all candidates are all set to put up a good fight, the results in Airoli, Belapur, Panvel and Uran are a foregone conclusion.