It is a battle between a newbie from a political family and a seasoned political activist who switched parties to fight dynastic politics in his ward.
The civic polls will see a tough fight between BJP MLA Raj Purohit’s son Aakash Purohit, and former BJP senior leader and corporator Janak Sanghvi, who defected to Congress after he was asked to make way for Aakash in ward 221.
Sanghvi’s deflection was seen as a jolt to the BJP in south Mumbai, as he was an aide of the Colaba MLA.
Under the Congress, his contesting from the same ward is expected to split the Gujarati and trader voter in ward 221 — Bhuleshwar, Zaveri Bazar.
Sanghvi is leaving no stone unturned to win back his old ward. He said people were angry with the BJP’s demonetisation move and the dynastic policy that PM Modi has been attacking all throught his tenure.
“I have worked in the area and was elected from the same administrative ward in 2007. His (Aakash) identity as an MLA’s son will hardly impact me, on the other hand people are irked with the decision,” said Sanghvi. The Shiv Sena has fielded a Gujarati candidate, Kanhaiyalal Rawal, too.
Aakash will be fighting his first civic election, but his nomination irked quite a few in the party. Raj Purohit has been insisting his son’s nomination shouldn’t be seen as a case of dynastic politics as he had worked with the BJP’s youth wing, which is what got him the ticket.
In 2012, a similar controversy had erupted after, Aakash was nominated as a BEST committee member, surpassing two veteran former BJP corporators.
Both candidates are vying for the Gujarati and Marwari vote in the area. Singhvi is also trying to take advantage of the Gujarati versus Marwari undercurrent in the ward and is banking on the effect of demonetisation on the trading community. Purohit, on the other hand, is harping on the BJP’s appeal among the voters. The area is seen as BJP stronghold.
Ward 221 is mostly dotted with the old jewellery making units and shops. It is also one of the many areas in South Mumbai that witnesses heavy floating population.