Lok Sabha elections 2019: Driven by different causes, two candidates take on heavyweights for Mumbai North West seat
Undeterred by possible failure and the poor track record of candidates not backed by political parties in elections, two people — a computer instructor and a fast-food joint owner — have jumped into the fray in the Lok Sabha polls from Mumbai North West constituency.
Gajanan Tukaram Sonkamble, 33, a computer instructor, and 42-year-old Chandrashekhar Sharma, who runs a fast-food joint in south Mumbai, have filed their nomination to contest from the constituency. They will face Shiv Sena’s sitting MP Gajanan Kirtikar and Congress’ Sanjay Nirupam on April 29.
While this is Sonkamble’s second venture into electoral politics, Sharma is contesting for the first time. Their goals are varied. While Sonkamble wants to start an institute for civil services aspirants so that the government sector gets more honest officers, Sharma wants to make Hindi the national language of the country.
Sonkamble is a resident of Kandivli, which is a part of the adjoining Lok Sabha constituency of Mumbai North.
The Arts graduate is undeterred by his failure in the 2014 elections when he secured only 1,366 votes in the constituency. “Our elected members have failed to better the area’s infrastructure and the education sector. I want to prove an independent candidate can do much more for this country,” he said.
With a total asset of ₹70,000 declared while he filed his nomination, Tukaram said he does not need funds to run his election campaign. He said he will be doing door-to-door to campaign. “I earn a salary of ₹8,000 every month and have no bank balance as such. This does not mean I cannot contest or win elections without money,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sharma aims to champion the cause of making Hindi the national language. A Borivli resident, which is a part of Mumbai North constituency, he was with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) till 2017. Now a member of Bhartiya Manavadhikaar Federal Party, he said, “I want to make Hindi the national language. I had quit the MNS due to its Marathi-centric ideologies. Most importantly, I want to work for the upliftment of tribal communities.”
He also said he wants to improve the traffic situation and water supply in the constituency. According to his affidavit filed before the election authorities, Sharma has a criminal case against him and he declared total assets worth ₹48.53 lakh and family assets of ₹17.79 lakh.