In an unexpected turn of events, a foe turned into a friend for Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).
Nearly 700 north Indians campaigned for Raj Thackeray’s party candidate Pravin Darekar at Magathane, on the last day of poll campaign.
The group consisting of north Indians, Gujaratis and a few Maharashtrians residing in Mumbai began their campaign at 11.30 am and went on till 5 pm. Out of the total number, 50 per cent were north Indians.
Others in the rally also felt that the Marathi manoos theme of MNS is just like any other political party’s agenda and that even north Indians from Mumbai equally belong to this city like any other Mumbaikar. “If my living conditions are improved and so is my children’s future, then what’s wrong in voting for MNS candidate,” questioned another volunteer from the campaign.
“It was a successful rally and I was surprised to see the overwhelming response from the North Indian community residing in Mumbai,” said Akhilesh Chaubey, Vice President, Legal Cell of MNS.
“We are definitely not against the north Indians but only want to curb influx coming into the city,” he added.
On the last day of poll campaigning, candidates across Mumbai were toiling in the sweltering heat, when HT spoke to some of them.
BJP candidate R.U. Singh from Malad along with senior leader Kirit Somaiya ended their campaign thanking everyone to accompany them throughout the afternoon.
Meanwhile competitor and independent candidate Dolphy D’souza, who was on the field said: “It was quite a hectic day as I was busy with door-to-door campaigns.”
Meanwhile, Charkop candidate from BJP Yogesh Sagar continued his afternoon group meetings with housing societies. “I had 16 group meetings and one public meeting at Laljipada where other BJP leaders were also present,” said Sagar.
Kalidas Kolamkar from Congress standing from Wadala constituency was busy with his ‘Sobha yatra’ the entire day.
Two-time sitting MLA from Goregaon, Subhash Desai of the Shiv Sena too was running around all afternoon attending back-to-back political rallies across his constituency.
At the end of his 4 pm campaign at Bhagat Singh Nagar, he didn’t even wait for supporters to give him bouquets. “It’s already 4 pm and I have to attend another rally,” he said, leaving the stage quickly.