BMC polls: Wife of Shiv Sena loyalist or new BJP entrant? Who will win Govandi’s vote?
Although there are 11 candidates in the fray, experts feel there are only two main contenders in ward number 144 — the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).mumbai Updated: Feb 20, 2017 11:21 IST
Although there are 11 candidates in the fray, experts feel there are only two main contenders in ward number 144 -- the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The Govandi-Mankhurd ward, which is reserved for women, will see a close contest between Kamini Shewale, wife of Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale, and Anita Panchal, wife of local corporator Dinesh alias Babalu Panchal, who defected to the BJP from the Shiv Sena.
Irked with the Sena’s decision to give candidature to Shewale’s wife, Panchal left the party and joined the BJP a couple of days before the last day of the nomination form. While his wife is contesting from the ward on a BJP ticket, Panchal is contesting from the neighbouring ward.
Panchal said a major part of his ward that got split after delimitation falls under ward no. 144 and so his claim over the seat was legitimate. “Only six booths of his [Shewale’s] old ward are part of the new ward, while 28 booths are from my earlier ward. On this basis, the candidature have been given to my wife,” said Panchal.
The ward covers Govandi, Deonar, Borla, Mankhurd station, Mandala village and half of Anushakti Nagar. It is a predominantly residential area, which is traditionally considered a stronghold of the Shiv Sena. Both sitting MP and MLA, representing the ward, are from the party.
The ward has 36,000 voters and a majority of them are Marathi-speaking. They are followed by Dalit voters, along with a small percentage of Muslim, Gujarati, South Indian and north Indian voters.
The redrawn boundary will, however, give both Shiv Sena and BJP an advantage. Dinesh Panchal represented the southern part of the ward for the past five years, while Shewale represented the northern region as corporator.
Kamini Shewale, who is contesting the elections for the second term, however, is confident about her public relations with people, along with the work done by her husband as MP and corporator. “The Shiv Sainiks will teach a lesson to traitors and show them their place in this election,” said Kamini, adding the development of Gaothan (villages) would be her priority after getting elected.