FPJ Mumbai Debate: 'Residents of Dharavi Deserve Redevelopment With Upgraded Infrastructure,' Says Anil Desai Mumbai South Central Candidate

FPJ Mumbai Debate: 'Residents of Dharavi Deserve Redevelopment With Upgraded Infrastructure,' Says Anil Desai Mumbai South Central Candidate

Desai attacked the government alleging irregularities in the redevelopment project for Dharavi.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Thursday, May 09, 2024, 02:18 AM IST
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Anil Desai

The Maha Vikas Aghadi has placed their bet on Shiv Sena UBT leader Anil Desai from the Mumbai South Central constituency. A loyalist for the Thackeray family for the last few decades, Desai is also a member of the Rajya Sabha and is considered to be excellent at managing elections, legal matters and back room activities. Against Desai, the Mahayuti alliance has fielded sitting MP and Shiv Sena leader Rahul Shewale.

Desai attacked the government alleging irregularities in the redevelopment project for Dharavi. He alleged that the residents of Dharavi are doubtful about the redevelopment project since the redevelopment projected by the government was different from the plan that is being put up on the paper.

Desai also alleged that the government is shifting the people far away from Dharavi and they are deprived of their right to a place. He alleged that the government is focusing on Dharavi redevelopment only because of its proximity to the Bandra Kurla complex. He demanded that the redevelopment of Dharavi should also include upgradation of infrastructure with added public utilities of schools and hospitals.

“Everyone is eyeing at the redevelopment of Dharavi and even we support it. People have been living there for generations in pathetic conditions and have still earned good names and laurels for Mumbai. Their talents should be recognized and they should get a separate working place nearby their residence, but things are not being opened up. The layout plans should be shared by the residents,” he said.

Desai mentioned the diversity of communities in his constituency and called it a mini Mumbai. He also countered the allegation about the change in Shiv Sena’s ideology and claimed that the party is still running on Balasaheb Thakeray’s ideology of Hindutva. Countering the claim of Shiv Sena struggling to attract votes from the Muslim communities, Desai said that the 1993 riots had changed the city and the riots stopped due to Balasaheb Thakeray’s efforts.

“Different parties have taken up Hindutva in different manners to play a political game but their Hindutva is not what we have been fighting for. Balasaheb was a Hindu Hridaysamrat and according to him, the definition for hindutva has always been nationalism,” he said. The Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate also mentioned about the Lokadhikar Samiti that was constituted by Balasaheb Thakeray to work on the unemployment issue in the state. He said that the state still needs a Lokadhikar Samiti as people are struggling with unemployment. “The expectations of the people of Mumbai and Maharashtra are changing and they know what they want. With the rise of misinformation and the bias in mainstream media, the youth is preferring social media over mainstream media,” Desai said.

Desai also shared the stage with his peer Varsha Gaikwad of Indian National Congress, who is contesting the election from the Mumbai North-Central constituency. Citing that they were supposed to contest from each other’s constituencies earlier, Desai said that he will be voting Congress for the first time and that will be for Gaikwad.

“Although we are contesting from the opposite constituencies, we have been working to campaign for each other. My workers in the north-central region, campaign with Varsha tai and her workers are supporting me in my election rallies,"said Anil Desai

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