And in Mumbai, we bring to you an analysis from on of the most eyed constituency – the Mumbai’s South Central seat that perhaps best represents the middle-class Mumbai, its ethos, its aspirations and its concerns. Who’s winning – nobody knows for definite but Congress might just have an edge in this constituency. Details with this report. Mumbai’s South Central constituency is the home to some of the city’s landmarks – the historic Shivaji Park, Dharavi of Slumdog Millionaire fame, and Dadar, the city’s very iconic socio-cultural capital. Stretched from Parel to Chembur, the Mumbai South-Central constituency represents what Mumbai is epitomized for – space-starved, secular and symptomatic of everything good or bad about the city. This is also the constituency where the economic slowdown has made a very deep impact, although not as obvious as the fall in rentals in the buzzing Nariman Point. Dharavi, which has hundreds of small-scale manufacturing and supplying units for a host of industries, has been witnessing a massive exodus of laborers due to the shrinking of employment opportunities. The electoral battle for seat in Mumbai’s heart is as much interesting as the constituency itself. The constituency has registered a voting percentage of Congress-NCP-RPI alliance’s Eknath Gaikwad, 69, and Shiv Sena-BJP’s Suresh Gambhir, 65, a four-time MLA from Mahim, are the lead contestants. Eknath Gaikwad has several advantages over his Sena rival who is contesting his maiden Parliamentary poll. The Congress nominee has caste combinations, track record, and reputation to his advantage. With a sizeable Dalit and Muslim population that has traditionally stayed with the Congress, Eknath Gaikwad has a clear edge at least on paper. The delimitation of constituencies has added Chembur and Anushakti Nagar to this Parliamentary segment. These are areas which could favor Eknath Gaikwad more than Suresh Gambhir. Moreover Eknath Gaikwad is a non-controversial man who is also fairly popular among the locals. But though a first-timer in parliamentary polls, Suresh Gambhir isn’t a novice. It’s not only the Marathi card that has ensured four terms in the legislative assembly for Suresh Gambhir. He is fairly popular among Muslims and Christians, a major achievement for any Sena leader. Between Eknath Gaikwad and Suresh Gambhir, there is a third angle to this poll which assumes lot of significance. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena nominee Shweta Parulekar, 42, is a serious claimant to the large Marathi vote-bank, and is a spot of bother for the Shiv Sena. Parulekar is unlikely to win. But her share of votes could decide who wins. The Shiv Sena already has two major concerns on hand – delimitation has added pro-Congress pockets to this constituency and Eknath Gaikwad has the image of an invincible contestant. Add the MNS factor and the Sena is in for a grim fight in the Mumbai South Central constituency. Bureau report – NMTV News.
January 24, 2017