It's Sena vs Sena battle in 3 out of 6 Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai - Hindustan Times
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It's Sena vs Sena battle in 3 out of 6 Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai

PTI |
May 01, 2024 04:32 PM IST

It's Sena vs Sena battle in 3 out of 6 Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai

Mumbai, Battle lines have been drawn in six parliamentary constituencies in Mumbai, where Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and the Uddhav Thackeray led outfit will battle it out in three seats. While two seats will witness fights between the traditional rivals - the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, in one seat the Shiv Sena and BJP will fight it out. The six constituencies in Mumbai are Mumbai South, Mumbai South-Central, Mumbai North, Mumbai North-Central, Mumbai North-East, Mumbai North-West. These are among the 13 seats in Maharashtra that will go to polls in the fifth and final phase on May 20. Mumbai South, Mumbai South-Central and Mumbai North-West will see a fight between the two Senas, while Mumbai North-East will be a BJP versus Shiv Sena face-off. In Mumbai South, sitting MP Arvind Sawant of the Uddhav Thackeray will take on Yamini Jadhav of the Shinde-led Sena. Jadhav represents the Byculla assembly constituency in Mumbai. Sena leader Anil Desai is pitted against Rahul Shewale of the Shinde-led Sena in Mumbai South-Central. While Desai was a Rajya Sabha member till recently, Shewale is the sitting Lok Sabha member. Amol Kirtikar of the Thackeray camp will take on Ravindra Waikar of the ruling Sena in Mumbai North-West. Waikar who was earlier with the Sena , joined the Shinde camp recently. He currently represents Jogeshwari East assembly constituency in Mumbai. Congress MLA Varsha Gaikwad, who is the party's Mumbai unit president will fight it out against noted lawyer Ujjwal Nikam fielded by the BJP in Mumbai North-Central, while Union minister and BJP veteran Piyush Goyal will take on Bhushan Patil of the Congress in Mumbai North. While Gaikwad represents the Dharavi assembly segment in Mumbai, Goyal is a Rajya Sabha member. In Mumbai North-East, BJP's Mihir Kotecha will fight against Sena UBT's Sanjay Dina Patil. Kotecha is the MLA from Mulund assembly constituency in Mumbai. After filing her nomination form, Gaikwad called on Uddhav Thackeray, who promised his support to her, saying she will be sent to Delhi as an MP. It will be for the first time that Thackeray will vote for a Congress candidate as his residence in Bandra comes under the Mumbai North-Central constituency. Congress and Shiv Sena have traditionally been political opponents in Mumbai till 2019. "Despite being opponents, the two parties have been in tactical understanding on many occasions to get positions of power, especially in the Mumbai civic body," senior journalist Prakash Akolkar said. As per the picture emerging on ground, the Shiv Sena and the Congress cadre have gelled well on the ground. Gaikwad visited all Shiv Sena shakhas in Mumbai North-Central constituency, seeking "blessings" of the Uddhav Thackeray-led cadre and in turn promising to be always available to them and fight for issues related to the city. She was warmly welcomed everywhere. Since 2014, the Congress has lost all the Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai, while in the 2019 assembly elections, it could win only five of the 36 seats. With former Mumbai South MP Milind Deora defecting to the Shiv Sena and former Mumbai North-Central MP Priya Dutt declining to contest again, the Congress had no candidates to field. Party leader Sanjay Nirupam was shown the door for his criticism of the Congress leadership on its inability to get equal seat-sharing in the Maha Vikas Aghadi . This will be the first major electoral test after the political realignment that emerged in 2019. Earlier, the Andheri East assembly byelection took place, but Shinde-led Sena or the BJP did not field any candidate. The BJP has replaced all three sitting MPs while Shinde's Shiv Sena has renominated only Rahul Shewale and replaced Gajanan Kirtikar in Mumbai North-West. Mumbai is divided into Mumbai city and Mumbai suburban district. Mumbai South and Mumbai South-Central constituencies are in Mumbai city, while rest of the constituencies are in Mumbai suburban. The nomination process is underway. Last date of filing of nominations is May 3. Mumbai city has over 24 lakh voters, while suburban has 74 lakh voters.

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