Learning from its mistakes in the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress is trying to reconnect with the large north-Indian voter base in the city that had voted for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
In the past one month, leaders such as Kripashankar Singh, Naseem Khan and Rajhans Singh, have held 15-16 ‘Uttar Bharatiya Sammelan’ with members of their traditional voter base, trying to reassure them that unlike the Shiv Sena-BJP, the Congress will voice their concerns.
These sammelans were organised in Kandivli, Jogeshwari, Malad, Santacruz and Kalina. Kurla, Kalina, Chandivli and Bandra (East) are part of the north-central parliamentary seat that is home to 3.41 lakh north Indian voters and 5.2 lakh Muslim voters, mostly from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Also, Kandivli, Dahisar and Borivli are part of the Mumbai north parliamentary seat, and have three lakh north Indian voters and an equal number of Muslim voters.
“North Indian voters were swayed by the Modi wave and are now regretting it. The NDA government has not kept its promise of reducing inflation,” said Kripashankar Singh, MLA from Kalina. The party leaders conceded the Congress lost in the LS polls because of a lack of communication with the community.
“We did suffer from the swing of voters towards the NDA, but we want them to know that we will solve their issues, such as proper rehabilitation of cattle sheds in the city. During the sammelan, cattle shed owners raised concerns about shifting out of Mumbai and the ensuing status of that land,” said Naseem Khan, Chandivli MLA.
“The BJP has no north Indian face in the city and Congress leaders have assured us they will stand up for us,” said Alok Singh, 34, a dairy businessman from Vakola.