The Bhiwandi by-election will be held on Wednesday. Samajwadi Party Member of Legislative Assembly, Abu Azmi, vacated the Bhiwandi (east) seat after he won from Mankhurd-Shivajinagar constituency in the Assembly election held in October 2009.
Of the 10 candidates in the fray for the by-poll, six are independents. The other four are Samajwadi Party’s Farhan Azmi, Congress’s Muzaffar Hussain, Shiv Sena’s Rupesh Mhatre and National Lokhind Party’s Badiuzzamma Ali Khan.
A neck-to-neck battle is being fought between Farhan Azmi (27) and Muzaffar Hussain (44).
Farhan, like his father Abu Azmi, is wooing Muslims and north Indians while Hussain has a wider spectrum with Muslims, Agaris and Telugus being persuaded to vote for him. Both are focusing on the Muslim vote bank, which comprises nearly 45 per cent of the 2.23 lakh voters in the constituency.
Power, water and sanitation are the main issues in the constituency. While Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh campaigned for Azmi along with Jaya Bachchan and Jaya Prada, CM Ashok Chavan flew down to campaign for Hussain last week.