Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) may have ruffled many feathers with its anti-North Indian campaign, but has found support in Mumbai's Muslim community.
The growing support for the party in the megapolis's Muslim-dominated areas like Umerkhadi and Dongri, is sure to give the ruling Congress-NCP a hard time during elections.
The Muslim-dominated areas saw a lower voter turnout during last year's civic body elections.
More than 2000 Muslims have enrolled as party activists in the last 3-4 months, MNS Vibhag Pramukh (unit leader), Virendra Patil, of the newly formed Mumbadevi assembly constituency after delimitation, told PTI.
Mumbadevi comprises areas like Dongri, Umerkhadi and Bhendi Bazar with over 70 per cent of the population being Muslim.
Disillusioned with the Congress, NCP and SP, Muslims are finding MNS as an alternative, Patil said.
"Besides, our activists help locals in every possible way by organising cleanliness drives among other things," he said.
"Of the 65 per cent of Muslims in Umerkhadi, a majority of them hail from Konkan. They support Raj Thackeray's stand that priority should be given to locals in jobs," he added.
Patil said he was a candidate in Municipal Ward Number 221 (Umerkhadi) in last year's election and finished second. "We have the grassroot support and hope to do very well in the forthcoming elections," he added.
In municipal elections, MNS bagged 7300 votes in six wards of Mumbadevi assembly segment, he said.