2019 Lok Sabha elections: Mumbai candidates file nominations, Urmila Matondkar rides bike to poll office
Nominations, affidavits, rallies and show of strength – Mumbai’s Lok Sabha candidates had a manic Monday, as most rushed to file the nominations a day before the deadline, paving the way for a direct fight between the two main alliances, the BJP-Shiv Sena and Congress-NCP.
Mumbai South candidate and city Congress president Milind Deora made a statement by getting four Mumbaiites from diverse backgrounds to sponsor his nomination. While Hrishikesh Guhagarkar, 22, a young graduate from Girgaum, and Vaijayanti Gawde, 50, daughter of a mill worker from Parel, sponsored his nomination form, a third-generation grocer from Masjid Bunder, Chandra Chaddva, and his son, Jigar, contributed towards Deora’s nomination deposit. Guhagarkar, who has been unemployed for three years now, said his father, who works in the diamond industry, lost his job after demonetisation. “The four Mumbaiites from different walks of life have placed their faith in me. Their support symbolises the political course I will take once elected. Together, we can fix our city,” said Deora.
His competitor, Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant, too, made an entry with his supporters.
Mumbai South Central candidate Rahul Shewale held a march from General Post Office (GPO) to Old Customs House, where he filed his papers, with scores of Sena workers in tow. In contrast, his competitor, Congress candidate Eknath Gaikwad, reached the venue with his legislator daughter Varsha Gaikwad and former ministers Naseem Khan and Chandrakant Handore, where he was greeted by scores of Congress workers.
Priya Dutt, the Congress candidate from Mumbai North Central and daughter of the late actor-turned-politician Sunil Dutt, filed her nomination at the Bandra office. She was accompanied by her actor brother Sanjay Dutt and husband Owen Roncon. Congress leaders Kripashankar Singh and Baba Siddiqui, too, were present.
Two Congress candidates from the western suburbs – actor Urmila Matondkar and Sanjay Nirupam – reached the suburban collector’s office on motorcycles. While Matondkar, contesting from Mumbai North, was accompanied by her husband Mohsin Akhtar Mir and local Congress leaders, Nirupam was accompanied by other party leaders. Nirupam, a former Shiv Sena leader, is pitted against BJP-Sena candidate Gajanan Kirtikar in the North West constituency. Nirupam said, “I have received overwhelming support.”
BJP-Sena candidate from Mumbai North East Manoj Kotak, filed his nomination accompanied by BJP and Sena leaders, including sitting MP Kirit Somaiya, whom Kotak replaced as the candidate.
Kotak, who started his rally from the Ambaji Dham temple in Mulund, said, “We are working for common man. I will win with a huge margin.”