Mumbai : The Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded late Pramod Mahajan’s daughter Poonam Mahajan from Mumbai North Central constituency. This is a constituency that has been undisputedly represented by Priya Dutt from the Congress since 2005.
Ashish Shelar, Mumbai BJP chief was touted to be given the candidature against Dutt who has been maintaining a victory margin of over a lakh. However, Mahajan’s candidature indicates that Munde has scored over Gadkari. Poonam is also niece of Munde and he lobbied with the BJP’s central leadership to get the candidature to contest against Dutt. Previous to Shelar’s name, it was the name of bullion trader Mohit Khamboj that was doing rounds in BJP circles. Between Shelar and Khamboj, Shelar would have definitely given contest to Dutt. In 2009 Assembly elections, Shelar had lost to Congress candidate Baba Siddique from Bandra West, which falls in Mumbai North Central, by mere margin 1699 votes. The same cannot be said of Mahajan who in 2009 had been fielded by the BJP from Ghatkopar West Assembly polls. She lost to MNS by a margin of about 30000 votes. It reported that the BJP unable to get a formidable candidate against Dutt had unsuccessfully approached several film celebrities.