Maharashtra Lok Sabha Elections 2024: BJP Sets Sights On All 6 Mumbai Seats In Upcoming Polls

Maharashtra Lok Sabha Elections 2024: BJP Sets Sights On All 6 Mumbai Seats In Upcoming Polls

But the situation has changed dramatically following the parting of ways between the BJP and the Shiv Sena. The Shiv Sena itself has split into two further complicating political equations.

S BalakrishnanUpdated: Saturday, March 16, 2024, 09:42 PM IST
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BJP Sets Sights On All 6 Mumbai Seats In Upcoming Polls | ANI

Mumbai: The BJP has drawn out an ambitious plan to capture all the six seats of Mumbai in the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for May 20. In the 2019 polls the party, which had an alliance with the undivided Shiv Sena,  bagged three seats viz Mumbai North (Gopal Shetty), Mumbai North East Manoj Kotak and Mumbai north central Poonam Mahajan. The remaining three seats were won by the undivided Shiv Sena in Mumbai South - Arvind Sawant, Mumbai north west Rahul Shewale and Mumbai 

In 2019, three of Mumbai’s seats went to the BJP — Gopal Shetty (Mumbai North), Manoj Kotak (Mumbai North East) and Poonam Mahajan (Mumbai North Central). The remaining three were won by the Shiv Sena — Gajanan Kirtikar (Mumbai North West), Rahul Shewale (Mumbai south central) and Arvind Sawant (Mumbai south).

But the situation has changed dramatically following the parting of ways between the BJP and the Shiv Sena. The Shiv Sena itself has split into two further complicating political equations. 

The BJP is keen on capturing all the seats in the commercial capital of the country and to that extent it is in no mood to consent any seats to its allies - Shiv Sena led by CM Shinde and NCP of Ajit Pawar. The NCP of Ajit Pawar has hardly any presence in Mumbai.

Also the original Shiv Sena organisation is largely with Uddhav Thackeray and to that extent the Shinde Sena does not have a strong election machinery in the metropolis.  These are the reasons why the BJP is after all the six seats.

The party is mostly likely to field Speaker of the state legislative assembly Rahul Narwekar who is its  sitting MLA from Colaba.

As a Maharashtrian, he is expected to take on the Shiv Sena (UBT) 's sitting M.P. Arvind Sawant who has created a huge base in the Mumbai south seat over the years. Since he is the MVA candidate, he is expected to get votes in Muslim-dominated areas like Bhendi Bazar where Congress MLA Amin Patel can be expected to mobilise Muslim votes for Sawant.

The Shiv Sena (UBT) too has strong organisational presence in much of the constituency's geography. Incidentally, the Worli MLA is none other than Aaditya Thackeray who enjoys enormous popularity among the youth.

The BJP may replace Poonam Mahajan with its city president Ashish Shelar, who has proven skills in election management.  There is an element of tension between Shelar and deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis.

But then Shelar is extremely close to Union home minister Amit Shah, who has made him treasurer of the BCCI, which is a powerful post. Also, a party review found Poonam Mahajan wanting in many respects.

In Mumbai north the party has Union minister for commerce Piyush Goyal as its nominee. The seat is supposed to be a safe one for the party and that is the reason why Goyal was given the ticket from there. 

In Mumbai north-east the BJP has given the ticket to its MLA Mihit Kotecha after dropping its sitting M.P. Manoj Kotak despite the latter's good performance.

In Mumbai north west the Shiv Sena (UBT) has declared the candidature of Amol, who is the son of sitting M.P. Gajanan Kirtikar now with Shinde's Sena. He is 80 yrs old and hence the the BJP has suggested to its partners that the seat be given to it.

The name of sitting MLA Ameet Satam  from Andheri is being seriously considered by the party. He is very close to Art of Living guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who enjoys a good equation with the Sangh Parivar. 

The MVA is yet to get its act together in four of the six constituencies. It has finalised candidates only in two seats - Shiv Sena's Arvind Sawant and Amol Kirtikar. The alliance is yet to finalise its nominees for the remaining four seats. Indications are that the candidates may be presented to the public during Rahul Gandhi's mega rally at Shivaji Park on Sunday.

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