Mumbai Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Hazy Scene In 4 Seats

Mumbai Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Hazy Scene In 4 Seats

The picture in both Mumbai Northwest Mumbai and Mumbai Northeast is totally unclear.

Rohit ChandavarkarUpdated: Monday, May 20, 2024, 11:07 AM IST
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Voters lined up at a polling center in Mumbai. | File pic

The city and suburbs are going to the polls today. Voting will take place in six constituencies Mumbai South, Mumbai South-Central, Mumbai North-Central, Mumbai Northwest, Mumbai Northeast and Mumbai North.

In 2019, all six seats were won by the BJP-Shiv Sena combine under the NDA alliance.

ODDS FAVOUR SAWANT

South Mumbai will see a fight between Arvind Sawant of the Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray Shiv Sena and Yamini Jadhav of the Eknath Shinde Shiv Sena. Most observers feel it’s going to be a cakewalk for Sawant, as the Muslim vote as well as the traditional Sena vote from areas like Girgaum will go to Sawant.

Yamini Jadhav was a municipal corporator and has not even been in the state assembly as a member, while Sawant has won LS polls multiple times in the past.

INTERESTING DUEL

The situation is exactly the reverse in Mumbai South-Central. Shinde Sena group member Rahul Shewale has an edge there, as Anil Desai of the Sena-UBT was only a Rajya Sabha member and did not get the opportunity to develop the constituency.

However, the combined power of the MVA with Congress’s traditional votes from areas such as Dharavi may give Desai a boost, making the fight interesting.

RETURNING TO CONG?

In Mumbai North-Central, the BJP suddenly decided to field former Maharashtra Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam while on behalf of the MVA, Congress leader Varsha Gaikwad, who was a minister in the MVA govt, has been fielded. The BJP was unable to put forward a senior leader or an established face in this prime Mumbai constituency.

The party did not want to repeat two-time MP Poonam Mahajan and opted for a fresh face. Gaikwad may have an edge here, as before 2014, this constituency was solidly behind the Congress and after the late Sunil Dutt, voters there supported his daughter, Priya Dutt, unanimously.

That voter base may now return to Congress, with the BJP lacking a face there.

BLURRED PICTURE

The picture in both Mumbai Northwest Mumbai and Mumbai Northeast is totally unclear. Party activists, as well as leaders seem nervous in both these constituencies.

In Mumbai Northwest, the fight is between Sena-UBT’s Amol Kirtikar and the Shinde Sena’s Ravindra Waikar, while in Mumbai Northeast, the fight is between BJP’s Mihir Kotecha and the Sena-UBT’s Sanjay Dina Patil. The recent roadshow by PM Narendra Modi was in northeast Mumbai, for partyman Kotech.

However, it will be a tough and close fight in both these seats, as there are multiple issues and high voter density, making it difficult to predict how the dice will roll.

GOYAL HAS AN EDGE

In Mumbai North, it is more or less clear that BJP’s Piyush Goyal has a definite edge. The constituency has been well developed by the former BJP MP Gopal Shetty and given the demographic, it seems like Goyal would be a shoo-in. The Congress has fielded Bhushan Patil as its candidate here and he may not pose as much of a challenge.

CONCLUSION:

So, it seems that of the six Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai city and the suburbs, only in two seats, (Mumbai South and Mumbai North) the picture is more or less clear, with South slated to go to Uddhav Shiv Sena and North Mumbai going to the BJP. As for the rest of the four constituencies, the canvas is blank, and it could be a big day for any of the aspirants. This time, the issues that people are talking about are varied and stark. Inflation and unemployment have hit people in the financial capital also but the spotlight is on various issues of urbanisation such as abysmal road traffic management, slums, water supply woes, housing problems and garbage management.

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