Lok Sabha elections 2019:No reason to fear in Mumbai North East, says BJP’s Kotak
A day after his candidature was declared for the Lok Sabha election from Mumbai North East, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominee Manoj Kotak said he need not worry about victory as the constituency is a stronghold of the BJP and Shiv Sena.
Kotak, who called on Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray earlier in the day, said the Sena is providing full support to ensure that he wins by a huge margin.
Kotak has replaced senior parliamentarian Kirit Somaiya as the candidate from the constituency, which includes Mulund, Bhandup, Ghatkopar, Kanjurmarg, Vikhroli and Mankhurd. Two-time MP Somaiya’s candidature was opposed by local Shiv Sainiks after his verbal attacks on Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in the run-up to the 2017 civic body elections.
“Mumbai North East has 27 BJP-Sena corporators and 5 MLAs,” Kotak said on Thursday evening while on his way to meet veteran Sena leader Liladhar Dake.
“Everyone is working towards a single direction of making PM Narendra Modi win again. So I don’t think I have any reasons to fear.”
Earlier on Thursday, along with BJP MLA Prakash Mehta, Kotak paid a visit to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, Sena chief Thackeray and Republican Party of India chief Ramdas Athawale. “It was a courtesy visit to all leaders of the alliance,” Mehta said.
Kotak will be running against the NCP’s Sanjay Dina Patil, a former MLA from Bhandup and MP from North East.
As opposed to Patil who started campaigning from mid-March, Kotak’s nomination has come late in the day.
Local Shiv Sainiks had threatened to campaign against Somaiya if he was re-nominated. Rajendra Raut, Sena divisional head from Ghatkopar said, “We opposed Somaiya’s candidature but now that Kotak’s name has been announced, we will work towards his victory.”
A popular Gujarati face in Mulund, Kotak lost to Sena’s Ashok Patil in the Assembly elections of 2014.
In the evening, Kotak visited Ramabai Nagar, which has a large Dalit population. He also addressed party workers at Bhandup along with Somaiya.
Kotak said that if he is elected to power, his priority would be to shut down the Deonar dumping ground.
“We have been successful in the closure of the Mulund dumping ground. If elected, I will make sure that Deonar dumping ground is closed down and waste-treatment in Kajurmarg is more scientific.”
The three-time corporator from Mulund said he would ensure that all permissions for the ₹3,000 crore Goregaon-Mulund Link Road are received on-time. “The constituency has a huge number of mangroves that have to be protected. There are several infrastructure projects which need to be completed on-time. I will carry Kirit Somaiya’s work forward,” he said.