Mumbai: Unlike the rest of Maharashtra, where the main battle is between the ruling alliance and the alliance between Congress-NCP, the Versova constituency is facing a triangular battle, where a Shiv Sena (SS) corporator Rajul Patel has rebelled and filed as an independent. Sitting legislator Bharati Lavekar is the official SS-BJP candidate, while Congress has fielded an equally strong candidate Baldev Khosa, a three-time legislator.
The Versova constituency has a diverse population with a middle-class population, fishing villages, slum pockets and this place are also preferred by Bollywood personalities. Traffic is the one major issue faced by every person in this constituency. All candidates have vowed to solve this problem apart from traffic and some part of the area faces water shortage.
Lavekar, who was not in the picture before electing in 2014, belongs to Shiv Sangram party. This time she is contesting on BJP symbol as the official SS-BJP candidate. Lavekar said, "I have done a lot of development work for the area from the beaches to the mangroves and this development will continue if I am elected."
Questioning Patel's candidature, Lavekar said,"She is a rebel, her party should take action against her, we have already lodged a complaint with the party and I hope her party will take action in time. Due to her nomination, we are not even getting full support from the Sena," she alleged.
Patel has rebelled and contesting as an independent but she requires no introduction, she is a member of BMC's standing committee and she was known for raising local issues. Being a Vibhag Pramukh in Sena from the K-West ward she has hold in Sena cader. Patel said, " People have fielded me, I have the blessing of late Balasaheb Thackeray and I will win for sure," said Patel. "Development of the area has stopped from five years, if elected I will make the parallel roads to JP Road and Link Road, and will work on extension of connectivity to JVLR," she added.
The Congress party has given a chance to Baldev Khosa who was a three time legislator and last time lost to Lavekar with a margin of plus 26,000 votes, but that time AIMIM party was in the contest and polled 20,000, this time they are not in the fray which will play in Khosa's way.
Kiran Koli, a local fisherman said, "Lavekar has done some work for the fishermen community, she had raised the diesel subsidy to fishermen and undertook the cleaning of Versova creek and for the adjoining areas as well but is it enough for her to sail through is the question."