Maharashtra polls: BJP-Sena enjoys advantage in Mumbai

Last Updated : 09 October 2019, 03:49 IST

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The entry of Shiv Sena scion Aditya Thackeray in electoral politics, top three BJP leaders not being renominated, burning issues like the PMC Bank scam, chopping of trees in Aarey for Metro carshed have made the Assembly elections interesting in Mumbai.

India's commercial capital accounts for 36 of the 288 seats of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly — around 12 per cent, which is a significant number. From upmarket Malabar Hill and Colaba and slum-dominated areas like Dharavi and Mankhurd Shivajinagar to hustling-bustling suburbs like Andheri and Bandra and middle-class pockets spread across the city, the fight is very interesting.

The big focus is on the Worli seat from where Aditya, the son of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray is contesting. Sitting MLA Sunil Shinde has vacated the seat and former MLA Sachin Ahir joined the Sena, making things easier for him.

The BJP has denied tickets to three senior leaders — minister Vinod Tawde (Borivli) and former ministers Prakash Mehta (Ghatkopar East) and Raj Purohit (Colaba). While Mehta and Purohit are BJP's Gujarati and Marwari faces and Tawde a Maratha, dropping them was a major challenge for Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Interestingly, the Sena is facing rebellion in the backyard of Matoshree, the residence of Thackerays in Bandra East, where sitting MLA Trupti Sawant refused to withdraw against official candidate Prof Vishwanath Mahadeshwar.

The Maharashtra government and the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation have focused extensively on infrastructure upgradation but problems and disruption during monsoon is an issue. Fadnavis' infrastructure push to have a bigger Metro network than suburban train network has been appreciated but the way trees were hacked for carshed in Aarey green lung, was something that has not gone down well.

In Mumbai, the Congress and NCP saw defections. Senior Congress leader Kripashankar Singh left the party while actress-activist Urmila Matondkar and veteran Sanjay Nirupam decided to stay away from the campaign. The polls is also a major test for MNS president Raj Thackeray. The Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi will make matters difficult for the Congress and NCP.

Mumbai total seats: 36

* Total candidates in fray - 334
* Total women candidates - 31
* Maximum candidates are in fray in Chandivali and Anushakti Nagar, where in each seat 15 candidates are contesting
* Minimum candidates are in Mahim, Borivli and Bandra West, where four candidates are in race in each seat

Party position (2014)

BJP - 15
Shiv Sena - 14
Congress - 5
Samajwadi Party - 1

In the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP and Shiv Sena won all the six seats.

Key candidates for 2019 Assembly elections

Worli: Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray's son Aditya Thackeray will take on Suresh Mane (NCP)

Malabar Hill: Five-time MLA and Mumbai BJP president Mangal Prabhat Lodha vs Heera Devasi (Congress)

Bandra East: Mumbai mayor Prof Vishwanath Mahadeshwar (Sena) vs sitting MLA Trupti Sawant, who has rebelled

Chandivli: Deputy leader of Congress in outgoing Assembly Naseem Khan faces chalenge from Shiv Sena's Dilip Lande

Anushakti Nagar: Mumbai NCP president and chief spokesman Nawab Malik will take on Sena's Tukaram Kate

Published 09 October 2019, 03:49 IST

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