Mumbai parliamentary elections: Congress believes MNS might help gain votes

By  Shimon Chadha | Updated:  Apr 15, 2019, 10:47 AM

Maharashtra elections
The six parliamentary constituencies of Mumbai,which will conduct polling in the fourth phase on April 29, are expected to go through a repeat performance of the 2014 elections. However, local Congress leaders disagree. 
The alliances are the same as last time: Right-wing organisations BJP and Shiv Sena together, who also share seats in the state government, pitted against the Congress and the NCP.  The Congress-NCP alliance suffered an embarrassing defeat, winning no seat. Each of the saffron parties won three seats in the city.
Most of the candidates too, are the same, from both the alliances. Former Bollywood actress Urmila Matondkar, has replaced Sanjay Nirupam, as the Congress representative from the Mumbai North constituency. Nirupam, on the other hand, will contest from Mumbai North West, a new seat for him, which was earlier fought for by Gurudas Kamat, who passed away in August last year. The only other new candidate is Manoj Katak, who is standing in place of Kirit Somaiya, from the BJP in the Mumbai North East constituency. 
Former actor late Sunil Dutt won the Mumbai North Central seat five times, which is why his daughter Priya Dutt’s defeat was unexpected in the 2014 elections. Dutt was reluctant and hesitant to contest this time, but conceded after persuasion from senior Congress leaders.
Matondkar, sources claim, might pose a tough fight to sitting MP, BJP leader Gopal Shetty in the Mumbai North constituency. Matondkar has been reaching out to party workers and voters both, by going on morning walks to Sanjay Gandhi National park in Borivali, and giving speeches. 
This time, though, Congress leaders claim, there is no “Modi wave”, which might be a factor in the Congress’ victory, along with the strong-worded scathing anti-BJP speeches by the MNS. The Congress believes that the MNS speeches might divert a few votes to the Congress. BJP leaders, of course, believe the contrary, that the party will face a strong fight only in two constituencies of Mumbai South and Mumbai North West.

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