In the current political environment where assurances are not followed up by action, Joy Bhosale, an Independent candidate from the Mumbai North Central constituency is fighting against sitting Member of Parliament Poonam Mahajan of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Priya Dutt of the Congress. Bhosale believes in the freedom of speech and expression during her campaign and raises a strong voice against dictatorial tendencies. She spoke to Priyanka Navalkar on a range of issues including. Excerpts:
What drives you to contest for the Lok Sabha elections as an Independent candidate?
The circumstances in our country have made me raise issues for my people. Over the years, we have given chance to all political parties to deliver on their promises and the people been lenient to them. When these promises have not been realised, a change is needed.
That is the reason I decided to give a good and fair fight to the other political opponents. My husband is from the film industry and we have seen how freedom of speech and expression is being curtailed. Instead of governance, we see censorship.
What are the core issues in your constituency?
People are still struggling for basic amenities. Right from warterlogging in public toilets to sewage and drainage issues, this is a huge constituency with many problems which I want to address. Unhygienic conditions and garbage management are of critical concern. Another important issue is lack of employment opportunities for the youth, which I want to change.
What is the response of the people to you as a debutant Independent candidate?
Having started from scratch, I have nothing to lose. I can proudly say that I have been canvassing on foot and people are forthcoming with their issues. Moreover, while campaigning I also encourage other people to voice their opinions and contest as Independent candidates.
Have you faced any problems while campaigning as a first-time candidate?
Yes, of course. These few weeks have been a roller coaster ride. Since I have no political backing or contacts, I was made to wait for hours together in the election commission’s office to fill up a single form. Subsequently, on Friday I was to conduct a rally in my constituency but the policemen were not present for the rally and it got delayed.