Mumbai Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Campaigning Ends For Fifth Phase; 6 Constituencies To Vote On May 20

Mumbai Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Campaigning Ends For Fifth Phase; 6 Constituencies To Vote On May 20

Polling will be conducted in all six constituencies of Mumbai along with Thane, Kalyan, Bhiwandi, Palghar, Nashik, Dindori and Dhule on Monday. After the fifth phase, elections on all the 48 seats in Maharashtra will be completed.

Kalpesh MhamunkarUpdated: Saturday, May 18, 2024, 07:33 PM IST
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Mumbai Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Campaigning Ends For Fifth Phase; 6 Constituencies To Vote On May 20 |

Mumbai: Campaigning for the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections came to a close on Saturday. Polling will be conducted in all six constituencies of Mumbai on May 20. Elections will be also be held in Thane, Kalyan, Bhiwandi, Palghar, Nashik, Dindori, and Dhule on Monday. After the fifth phase, elections for all 48 seats in Maharashtra will be completed. The results will be declared on June 4.

National leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Vadra, and state leaders like Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis, Narayan Rane, Ajit Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray, Aaditya Thackeray, and others took part in the campaign, which went off relatively smoothly.

Accusations and counter-accusations were exchanged freely, sometimes becoming personal. Uddhav Thackeray was particularly bitter about PM Modi. An interesting aspect was that the campaign was held despite heatwaves across the state. While the BJP focused on developmental issues and vote-bank politics, the India Alliance accused the BJP-led Maha Yuti coalition of ignoring "burning issues" like unemployment and price rise.

At Friday's massive rally at Shivaji Park, Modi went all guns blazing and accused the opposition of encouraging communal forces. For the first time, the Shiv Sena is facing the electorate as a divided house.

A bitter battle was fought between supporters of Shiv Sena (Shinde) and Shiv Sena (UBT), who in the 2019 polls worked shoulder to shoulder for the candidates of the undivided Shiv Sena. The ruling Maha Yuti and the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) are pitted against each other, each exuding confidence of winning the polls. Maratha leader Manoj Jarange Patil had threatened to disrupt the calculations of the Maha Yuti, but apparently without much success.

The NCP also split, with the faction led by Sharad Pawar reduced to a rump. Pawar Sr.'s prestige is at stake at Baramati, where his daughter Supriya is seeking re-election. She is being opposed by Sunetra, wife of Ajit Pawar, NCP leader and deputy CM.

On Monday, the fate of Union Minister Piyush Goyal (BJP), who rarely stepped out of his Mumbai North constituency where he is being opposed by Congress lightweight Bhushan Patil, Ravindra Waikar (Shiv Sena), Varsha Gaikwad (Congress), Ujjwal Nikam (BJP), Arvind Sawant (UBT), Rahul Shewale (Shiv Sena), Mihir Kotecha (BJP), Rajan Vichare (UBT), and Dr. Shrikant Patil (Shiv Sena) will be sealed.

According to political experts, there is a tough fight between Mihir Kotecha (BJP) and Sanjay Dina Patil (UBT) in the North East constituency, Anil Desai (UBT) and Rahul Shewale (Shiv Sena) in the South Central constituency, and Ravindra Waikar (Shiv Sena) and Amol Kirtikar (UBT) in the North West constituency.

On the last day, all parties emphasized road shows and rallies. Uddhav Thackeray held a road show for Amol Kirtikar and Sanjay Dina Patil and a rally in Dadar in support of Anil Desai. Devendra Fadnavis also held rallies in Bhiwandi, Mulund, and Thane. MNS Chief Raj Thackeray did a road show in support of Mihir Kotecha. CM Eknath Shinde held a rally and road show in Mazgaon, Kopri Thane, and Mira-Bhayander areas.

Both alliances conducted strong campaigns against each other. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at Shivaji Park and his road show in Ghatkopar received tremendous response from Mumbaikars. His allegations against Congress and Uddhav Thackeray became talking points.

Modi termed the Congress manifesto as a "Maoist manifesto" that will lead the country towards bankruptcy, alleging Pakistan's support for the INDI alliance, threats of blasts in Mumbai, calling UBT the "fake Shiv Sena," and the topic of Savarkar attracted people's attention. Other BJP leaders, like Fadnavis, alleged the hoisting of Pakistani flags and the involvement of 1993 bomb blast accused in the campaigning of the MVA.

On the other hand, Uddhav Thackeray emphasized the theft of investment from Maharashtra, referred to his party as the "fake Shiv Sena," and highlighted his work during the COVID-19 period. Moreover, Kejriwal reiterated that he and prominent leaders like Uddhav, Sharad Pawar, Tejaswi Yadav, and M.K. Stalin will be put behind bars if the BJP once again comes to power.

Interestingly, the topic of the billboard falling incident at Ghatkopar's Chheda Nagar was absent from the campaigning of both alliances. Furthermore, the North East constituency gained more attention. Mihir Kotecha of the BJP alleged attacks by Sanjay Dina Patil's goons on his workers, chariot, and election war rooms. However, Patil alleged money distribution by BJP workers in many areas through war rooms.

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