Ex-minister to Gawli’s daughter, all set their eyes on Byculla seat

The Byculla seat was in the Sena’s quota for years until in 2014, the two parties contested separately.
Shiv Sena did not contest the seat, instead offering support to Gawli, who stood for the Akhil Bharatiya Sena (ABS). BJP’s Madhu Chavan lost the seat by 1,357 votes to Pathan.(HT image)
Shiv Sena did not contest the seat, instead offering support to Gawli, who stood for the Akhil Bharatiya Sena (ABS). BJP’s Madhu Chavan lost the seat by 1,357 votes to Pathan.(HT image)
Updated on Sep 15, 2019 03:11 AM IST
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From a former minister to a former underworld don’s daughter to a fashion designer, everybody is eyeing the Assembly constituency of Byculla.

The Byculla constituency in south central Mumbai covers Dockyard, Mazgaon, Reay Road, Clare Road, Madanpura, Agripada and a part of Nagpada. The Muslim population in the area is more than 40%, and it will play an important role in the outcome of the election.

Former state minister Sachin Ahir, who recently joined Shiv Sena; fashion designer and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shaina N; former underworld don Arun Gawli’s daughter, Geeta Gawli; civic standing committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav’s wife Yamini; former Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) president Madhu Chavan all want to contest from Byculla. Sitting legislator, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen’s (AIMIM) Waris Pathan, has also said he is very much in the fray.

The Byculla seat was in the Sena’s quota for years until in 2014, the two parties contested separately.

Shiv Sena did not contest the seat, instead offering support to Gawli, who stood for the Akhil Bharatiya Sena (ABS). BJP’s Madhu Chavan lost the seat by 1,357 votes to Pathan.

Ahir, who is closely related to the Gawli family, said, “I will contest wherever Uddhavji [Thackeray] orders me to.” He faces stiff competition within the Sena with local strongman Yashwant Jadhav having already mobilised his workers. Posters with Jadhav’s wife Yamini’s may be seen across the constituency.

Within the BJP camp, there is serious competition between Chavan and Shaina NC. Though Shaina has frequented the area and is considered a serious contender, she dismissed claims of her being interested in the contest. “These are all rumours,” she said.

The demoralised Congress sees a strong chance in this constituency as in the recent Lok Sabha elections, its candidate Milind Deora had secured a lead in this Assembly segment over his Sena rival Arvind Sawant. Samajwadi Party corporator Raees Shaikh has also thrown in his hat and Geeta Gawli, whose father was once the local legislator, is making a serious bid for the Byculla seat.

However Waris Pathan said he is confident of retaining the seat.

“In the last 70 years, no one has worked like me and I am sure that every community will vote for me,” said Pathan.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Naresh is a Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, Mumbai, since 2005. He covers the real estate sector, in addition to doing political reportage.

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