Marathi folk singer Nandesh Umap files nomination as BSP candidate for Mumbai North East seat | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Marathi folk singer Nandesh Umap files nomination as BSP candidate for Mumbai North East seat

May 05, 2024 07:18 AM IST

Umap will be challenged by BJP candidate Mihir Kotecha representing Mahayuti and Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate Sanjay Dina Patil representing Mahavikas Aghadi (MVA) in the Mumbai North East Lok Sabha constituency. Political analysts suggest that Umap’s candidacy may split the votes of MVA candidates, potentially benefiting Kotecha

Mumbai: Noted Marathi folk singer Nandesh Umap on Friday filed his nomination as a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate for the Mumbai North East constituency. The BSP, which is headed by Mayawati, represents Bahujans, literally meaning community in the majority, referring to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes (OBC), along with religious minorities.

Marathi folk singer Nandesh Umap files nomination as BSP candidate for Mumbai North East seat
Marathi folk singer Nandesh Umap files nomination as BSP candidate for Mumbai North East seat

Umap is the son of renowned singer and social worker Vitthal Umap, who was an Ambedkarite and Buddhist. To illustrate BR Ambedkar’s philosophy to the people, he wrote the song-books on Ambedkar.

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Umap will be challenged by BJP candidate Mihir Kotecha representing Mahayuti and Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate Sanjay Dina Patil representing Mahavikas Aghadi (MVA) in the Mumbai North East Lok Sabha constituency. Political analysts suggest that Umap’s candidacy may split the votes of MVA candidates, potentially benefiting Kotecha.

The singer and actor said he wants to walk in his father’s footsteps by serving his community. He said, “As an artiste, I am doing something for society but now I have to play a different inning, that’s why I entered the election fray.”

The Umap family is closely associated with the Thackarey family. When Uddhav Thackeray was the chief minister of Maharashtra, Nandesh’s name was being discussed for the Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC). Earlier, Umap was closely working with the cultural ministry of the state when BJP leader Vinod Tawade was a cultural minister.

“In our social circles, challenges are ubiquitous. Tasks often remain unfinished. Can we address this? Can we advocate for artists? They too have numerous concerns. Shouldn’t we stand up for them? My prior role in the cultural department of the former government involved such efforts. Hence, I’ve entered the electoral fray to amplify the voices of artists,” said Umap to the HT.

Following the footsteps of his late father Vitthal, Nandesh has nurtured the tradition of folk singing deeply rooted in his family. After his father’s passing, Nandesh took charge of overseeing the singing aspect of their renowned musical drama Jambhul Akhyana. Beyond his expertise in folk music, Nandesh has garnered acclaim as a ghazal singer, even gracing the stage of ‘Coke Studio’ with his performances

After filing the election application on May 3, Umap paid his respects to Babasaheb’s Samadhi at Chaityabhoomi.

When asked whether he did go along with BJP or Shiv Sena (UBT) he said, “They never offered me a candidature from their party. I am not an opponent of any of these parties. I have a good relationship with all of them. But now I have decided to enter the battle and stand for society and the artists too.”

The Umap family has a stronghold in Vikhroli, especially in Kannamwar Nagar. Talking about the local issues, he said, “I want the old cultural glory of Kannamwar Nagar back when stalwarts of the Marathi literature, folk music, and labour theatre performed in this area.” Another issue he highlighted is pending projects for slum development and infrastructure.

Constituency with largest number of candidates in city

As many as 42 candidates are contesting from the Mumbai North East seat, the largest number in any other constituency in the city. Out of these, most of them are independent candidates.

Five candidates from the constituency share the same first and last name, which is Sanjay Patil. One of the Sanjays represents Sena (UBT) and the other four are independent candidates.

This constituency includes six areas, including Mulund, Vikhroli, Bhandup West, Ghatkopar West, Ghatkopar East, and Mankhurd Shivaji Nagar. The number of voters in this constituency is 15,88,693. In the 2019 general election voting percentage of this constituency was 57.11%.

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