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Gawli's daughter wants to do `Gandhigiri'

Underworld Don Arun Gawli's daughter files nomination the forthcoming elections for the BMC from Byculla, reports Naresh Kamath.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2007 23:45 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath

The latest follower of `Gandhigiri'  is Geeta, (23), daughter of underworld don Arun Gawli who will contest the forthcoming elections for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from Byculla.

Geeta wants to change the face of the city by practicing Mahatma Gandhi's ideals.

"Mahatma Gandhi is my idol and I am a follower of Gandhigiri", she told scribes before filing her nomination at the BMC's Byculla ward office.  

The ward office was bustling with activity on Tuesday afternoon as supporters clapped, cheered and distributed sweets after the proceeding that was supervised by the don himself. Traffic was disrupted in the area as a huge conclave of over 10 vehicles carrying over 200 residents made their way from the infamous Dagdi Chawl to the municipal ward office.
Geeta's aunt Vandana (35) too filed her nomination from Byculla. "Only a woman can understand the problems of another one and hence I nominated my daughter," said the don donning his trademark Gandhi topi. "Geeta would be like Jhansi ki Rani who fights for the rights of the deprived and oppressed people," said Gawli.

Geeta, who has studied till standard 12th is being fielded from Ward no 205 (ladies reserved ward) which extends from Nair hospital to the Byculla fire brigade and has a population strength of 53,506 while Vandana is being fielded from ward number 204 which extends from Byculla Railway station to Jacob circle with a population strength of 52,287. Geeta faces an uphill task as the muslims for a majority in this ward and a strong Congress candidate could force a strong challenge.

When questioned over him perpetuating dynastic rule in his party, Gawli said he was forced to choose his daughter, as there were no women candidates. "Women form a backbone of my voters but since I have no women cells, I have limited choice. The whole process was done in a hurry," said Gawli.

Geeta also agreed of having no experience in social or political work but appeared confident in winning the elections on the strength of the popularity of her father. "For decades, many of chawls did not get water and today the situation has vastly improved due to daddy's effort. He has done a lot for the people," said Geeta.

Gawli, who heads the Akhil Bhartiya Sena, accused the politicians of thrusting false cases on him on the occasion of elections to prevent him from campaigning. But he insisted he would campaign for his candidates.

"My theme would be remove fear from the minds of the people and offer them a decent life," said Gawli.

He also accused the political parties of asking his help from the backdoor but he refused to tie up with anyone. "For years, they have just used us for convenience. My thrust would be to serve people," said Gawli.

Till now ABS got 90 forms and the party plans to contest approximately 50 in the coming polls.
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