Mumbai: To make sure that people do come out of their homes and cast their votes, Kirti Shah, the owner of Swasthik Farsan (snacks shop) in Bhandup West, will offer a 50 per cent discount on snacks purchased from his shop on April 30, a day after the polling in North East Mumbai Lok Sabha Seat. In order to avail the discount, the customers will have to show their inked finger.
Swasthik Farsan is located near the Mangatram petrol pump in Bandhup West, which falls in Mumbai’s North East constituency. For the six Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai, polling will take place on April 29. Shah says he started this innovative method to encourage voters to caste their votes during the last Lok Sabha elections in 2014.
“Although we suffered a loss of 30 to 40 per cent, we took this as a social responsibility, and decided to continue with it this election season, too. Last time, when people got to know about our discount scheme, a crowd of customers swelled up in front of our shop and we had to make them stand in a queue. Even at 11pm, we could not shut the shop. So, we requested them to come next day,” Shah said.
He believes, the response will be similar this time again. “During the last election, I had only one shop but with God’s grace, I have expanded the operations and hired more staff. This will help me manage everything smoothly,” remarked the innovative entrepreneur. Maharashtra which has 48 Lok Sabha seats, of which six seats are in Mumbai, will vote in four phases. The polling dates for 2019 election is April 11, 18, 23, and 29.
In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the voter turnout in North East Mumbai Lok Sabha constituency was about 51.70 per cent and candidate from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Kirit Somaya won by a margin of 3,17,122 votes against Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate Sanjay Dina Patil.
As BJP and Shiv Sena have once again struck an alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha election, BJP has denied party ticket to incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) Kirit Somaya.
Instead, councillor Manoj Kotak has been given the BJP ticket to contest from Mumbai North-East LS seat. During the Mumbai civic polls in 2017, Somaiya had publicly criticised Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray, setting off a strong resentment from Sena partyworkers against his candidature.