Congress - BJP
Congress - BJP

Mumbai: Mulund assembly constituency belongs to the Mumbai North-East Lok Sabha constituency, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stronghold. For the 2019 assembly election, two leading political parties have fielded their candidates. The saffron alliance has fielded Mihir Kotecha on the BJP ticket, while Rajendra Prasad Singh is from the Indian National Congress (INC).

Pressure on opposition candidate to withdraw nomination: Rajendra Singh from Congress who filed his nomination for the Mulund assembly constituency said he is being pressured to withdraw his candidature.

A total of 17 candidates have filed their nominations from the Mulund Assembly constituency.

Know your candidates:

Rajendra Prasad Singh (60) is a doctor by profession and has been running a private clinic in Mulund for the last 36 years. He belongs to a political family. His father was a former mayor of the Mumbai city in 1993, and was councillor from 1973 to 2003. Rajendra, like his father, before contesting this assembly election, unsuccessfully contested the corporation election in 2007 and 2017, and lost by a slim margin of just 64 votes. He has two sons — a scientist in Texas doing research on human heart muscles while his other son is into the information technology profession. He has Rs 7.46 lakh immovable assets and Rs 

Mihir Kotecha (45) is a businessman by profession. First he flunked in class XII. Then, the college dropout started logistics and real estate business. He has several ongoing slum redevelopment projects in Mumbai. He has two decades of a political career. His father was Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) president. He unsuccessfully contested the 2014 assembly election from Wadala constituency. Lost it by just 800 votes. 

What your candidate says:

Rajendra Singh: “For the last 25 years, this assembly seat was with the BJP. Sardar Tara Singh was a five-term legislator. Despite having crores of rupees budget allotted from the state to undertake all kinds of development work, nothing has been done till today. I ask BJP on what development model they are contesting this election. Like for instance, the previous Congress government provided Rs100 crore for the Mulund-Goregoan Link Road, but Tarasingh did nothing and failed to initiate any work related to the project. Similarly, in the earlier development plan, land was approved to construct a sports complex and a cultural centre. However, no follow up was done by the BJP legislator. There are only two crematoriums in the constituency — one is for Hindus and another a common one. Also, if a vehicle is towed by traffic police, the motorists have to go all the way to Ghatkopar. Therefore, the previous BJP MLA, despite giving the opportunity, repeatedly failed to deliver on his promises and duties. He only provided paver blocks in housing societies and is a self-proclaimed star legislator.”

Mihir Kotecha: “This assembly election is definitely fought on developmental issues. Our CM Fadnavis has taken Maharashtra to new heights. Interestingly, the state was not even in top 10 when he became the CM and today, due to his visionary developmental plan, the state is on top in terms of getting new investment opportunities, setting up industries, addressing farmers’ issues by introducing schemes like Jalyukt Shivar. In the next five years, he will retain the position. Speaking about Mumbai, he said, “Already 300 kms of metro network laying is going on. It will reduce traffic issue by 50 per cent. Being born and brought up in Mulund, I am well aware of my assembly problems. However, over time the problems have changed. In the North East constituency, the BJP alone have six corporators, sitting legislator and Member of Parliament. Therefore, a lot of problems have been sorted out. In the coming days, if I get elected I have a four-point agenda — resolving traffic issues, removal of encroachments, illegal hawkers and rehabilitating people in Sanjay Gandhi National Park (Mulund boundary) as soon as possible. My exposure in the real estate sector is minimal and more into shipping and logistics. However, PM Modi has the vision to make Mumbai slum-free by 2022. Moreover, in the last two years, a lot of progressive decision has been taken by Fadnavis and gave clearances and because of that several slum redevelopment projects are on the fast track. Besides, I actively participated in the Ayodhya movement when I was 15-years-old. Since my father was the VHP president, he used to give me a list of families residing in Mumbai where I used to take bricks to perform puja for nine days in their houses and bring those bricks back and send them to Ayodhya. On the Supreme Court’s pending verdict, which is expected by November during Diwali, I would like to say all our life we have been saying Mandir vahi banega (we will build the temple there). So, I continue to say that mandir vahi banega.”

Peoples’ voices:

Damyanti Mehta said: “I have been living in Mulund for the last 30 years a lot of changes I have seen in terms of development. I have a strong belief that the upcoming local representative will continue to do good work. I do not recollect any immediate development work, which needs to be taken up. However, the legislator should always be in touch with citizens here and should implement people beneficial projects.”

Ravi Naik said: There is a huge traffic problem at Navghar junction, which can be resolved by shifting the Mulund Toll Naka a few metres away. Also, the existing Savarkar hospital lacks medical facilities. Moreover, if a post-mortem is to be carried out then the people have to take the corpse to Rajawadi in Ghatkopar. These need to be addressed. This constituency has a non-Maharashtrian representative for the last 25 years, though, the percentage of Marathi voters is more. We expect a Marathi candidate from BJP.

Electoral feature:

In 2014 assembly election, BJP’s Sardar Tara Singh received 96,850 votes, while INC candidate Charan Singh Sapra was the second runner up and got 28,543 votes. Interestingly, in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Manoj Kotak of BJP received the highest votes from the assembly constituency alone. As per the EC data, Kotak received 1.27 lakh voters, which confirmed his victory in the Lok Sabha. Runner up candidate Sanjay Dina Patil of NCP got only 40,478 votes.

The constituency has a total population of 7.5 lakh people. Of them, 2.98 lakh are eligible voters. About 1.55 lakh are the male voters, while 1.42 lakh are female voters. Of the total voters, 1.38 lakh are Marathi, 68,000 are Gujarati, 37,000 are North Indians and 53,000 are South Indians, Muslims and others in the constituency.

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in