The Shiv Sena retained the Mumbai Graduates constituency in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, while NCP deserter Niranjan Davkhare, who contested on a BJP ticket in the Konkan Graduates seat, emerged victorious today. The Sena retained the Mumbai Graduates seat, which it has held since 1985. Senior Shiv Sena leader late Pramod Navalkar had represented the seat for three terms. Present Health Minister Deepak Sawant won it twice. Sena candidate Vilas Potnis polled 19,354 votes while Ameetkumar Mehta of the BJP bagged 7,792 votes. In Konkan Graduates constituency, Shiv Senas Sanjay More was defeated by Niranjan Davkhare, who had defected to the BJP from the NCP on the eve of the polls. Davkhare, who was the sitting MLC of NCP, bagged 29,035 votes, while Shiv Senas Sanjay more got 23,357 votes. NCPs Najeeb Mulla polled 14,626 votes. Kapil Patil of Loktantrik Janata Dal won the Mumbai Teachers seat for third consecutive time. He polled 3,751 votes while his nearest rival Shivaji Shendge of Shiv Sena got 1,538 votes. While in Nashik Teachers constituency, Kishore Darade, an independent candidate backed by the Shiv Sena, won the election defeating Aniket Patil of the BJP. Darade polled 16,886 votes, while Patilgot 10,970 votes. Polling for these seats was held on June 25 and 72.35 per cent of the total 2.38 lakh voters had exercised their franchise. Total 71 candidates were in the fray for the four seats. Nashik division Teachers seat comprises Nandurbar, Dhule, Jalgaon, Nashik and Ahmednagar districts, while Konkan Graduates comprises Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Palghar. Mumbai Teachers and Mumbai Graduates comprise Mumbai city and suburban districts. A Graduates constituency is one in which only graduates from any recognised Indian university, or having an equivalent qualification, can vote. In a Teachers constituency, only a full-time teacher in at least a secondary school or higher is eligible to vote. In the 78-member Maharashtra Legislative Council, 31 MLCs are elected by the state Assembly members, 21 by local authorities, 12 are nominated by the governor and seven each (total 14) are elected by graduates and teachers. The constituencies, seven each for teachers and graduates, are (division wise) – Mumbai, Pune, Konkan, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Nashik and Amravati. The terms of the sitting members – Deepak Sawant (of Shiv Sena – Mumbai Graduates), Kapil Patil (of Loktantrik Janata Dal – Mumbai Teachers), Niranjan Davkhare (who switched over from NCP to BJP – Konkan Graduates) and Apoorva Hire (an independent – Nashik Teachers) – are coming to an end on July 7. The elections assumed significance as the Shiv Sena had denied ticket to minister Deepak Sawant from the Mumbai Graduates constituency, which he represented for two consecutive terms. Besides, election in the Konkan Graduates seat was also keenly watched as Davkhare had joined the BJP ahead of the polls. Last month, in the six biennial elections from local bodies seats, BJP had bagged three seats, Sena two and NCP one.