Mumbai's election line-up to be same as 2014

Mumbai's election line-up to be same as 2014

 India's commercial capital, Mumbai, that accounts for six Lok Sabha seats, is expected to witness a similar line-up of candidates in 2019 as that of the previous election.

In the 2014 general election, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance had swept the polls in the Congress bastion and had won all the seats - riding on the Narendra Modi wave.

The sitting MPs are Mumbai South (Arvind Sawant - Sena), Mumbai South Central (Rahul Shewale - Sena), Mumbai North Central (Poonam Mahajan - BJP), Mumbai North West (Gajanan Kirtikar - Sena), Mumbai North East (Kirit Somaiya - BJP) and Mumbai North (Gopal Shetty - BJP).

The NCP is set to contest the Mumbai North East seat while the Congress would go for the remaining five. However, a formal declaration on the seat-sharing formula is yet to be made.

The BJP-Sena combine would split the six seats in Mumbai equally between them. However, there are chances of a couple of swaps - Mumbai South and Mumbai North East - in the event of which the sitting MPs would have to opt out of the contest or test waters in new territories.

Infighting in the Congress party had led Priya Dutt, the daughter of Sunil Dutt and Nargis and sister of actor Sanjay Dutt, to opt out of the contest. However, it seems that she has been convinced by top leaders in the Congress party, including president Rahul Gandhi, to contest from Mumbai North Central. She will be taking on Poonam Mahajan, the daughter of late Pramod Mahajan and niece of late Gopinath Munde.

From the prestigious Mumbai South, Milind Deora, who was a minister of state in the Dr Manmohan Singh government, would be given a ticket again and is likely to face Arvind Sawant of Sena.

His late father Murli Deora, a Nehru-Gandhi family loyalist, had won the seat several times. Deora had recently spoken out against Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) president Sanjay Nirupam, However, the differences have been ironed out ahead of the polls.

Nirupam, who lost by a huge margin from Mumbai North to BJP's Gopal Shetty in 2014 was looking for a possible change and had shown interest in contesting from Mumbai North West, the seat from where late Gurudas Kamat used to contest.

In case, someone from the family of Kamat contests the election - Nirupam would have to enter the fray on his regular seat.

The NCP is likely to repeat Sanjay Patil from Mumbai North East.

The Mumbai South Central seat is expected to see a battle between Eknath Gaikwad of the Congress and Shewale of the Sena.

Ahead of the polls, the BJP-Sena alliance seems to be on sure footing and a fair understanding seems to have emerged between Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.

However, the Congress and the NCP is yet to muster the support of its allies. The decision of the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh of Prakash Ambedkar and Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM to go it alone under the banner of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, would dent the Dalit and Muslim vote bank of the Congress.

On the other hand, the Raj Thackeray-led MNS is yet to announce whether it would go stand alone or back the Congress-NCP alliance. Raj is a charismatic leader and he could pull several Marathi votes away from the saffron alliance.


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