Mumbai seats to witness four-cornered fights

Mumbai seats to witness four-cornered fights

The six parliamentary constituencies in Mumbai will see a quadrangular contest of political outfits doling out same perspective under different brands in almost all seats, barring the North East constituency which will witness a litmus test of two different ideologies.

The advent of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the decision of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) also to enter the poll fray have made it difficult for established political parties like the Congress and BJP to crown themselves with the mantle of Member of Parliament.

The antics of AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal have wiped out the carefully presented images of the two parties, projecting themselves as the key contenders in the ring.  The result is that AAP has managed to make in-roads into the hearts of the lower-middle class who proudly strut around kiosks wearing the party’s adopted Gandhi cap.

In South Mumbai, sitting Congress MP Milind Deora is facing not just Shiv Sena’s (SS) Arvind Sawant whom he had defeated last time but also AAP’s corporate face Meera Sanyal and Communist Party of India (CPI) candidate Prakash Reddy, a known and respected face amongst the working class, slums and minorities dominated localities.

This is the first time that CPI has propped up a candidate who, despite being ignored by media, is silently considered a “dangerous dark horse” due to his impeccable credentials and sway he holds in the slum vote bank. The MNS has also fielded a powerful candidate Bala Nandgaonkar, a sitting MLA who, during the last polls had netted more votes than SS candidate.

In Mumbai North West it is a rectangular contest wherein Congress MP Gurudas Kamat is trying to retain his crown despite the efforts of SS candidate Gajanan Kirtikar, MNS’ Mahesh Manjrekar and AAP’s Mayank Gandhi.

In North Central whilst sitting MP Priya Dutt continues to glow in the halo of her late actor and film-maker father Sunil Dutt, BJP’s candidate Poonam Mahajan, daughter of late Pramod Mahajan is banking on the fact that MNS has refrained from putting up its candidate.

But the AAP candidate, advocate Phiroze Palkhivala is being considered as having the potential to upset all calculations. The advocate is well-known in the slums as well as upper middle class localities.

However, unlike Mahajan who heaved a sigh of relief when MNS decided not to field anybody in North-Central, the BJP candidate of North-East constituency, Kirit Somaiya, known for uncovering “scam-a-week” and having the “largest number of friends in media” has to fight with activist Medha Patkar, who is the AAP candidate.

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