BJP uses national issues to woo Kandivali, Charkop localsUpdated: Oct 19, 2019 00:55 IST
In North Mumbai’s Kandivali and Charkop Assembly segments, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to be confident of a victory. In these constituencies, which have a predominant Gujarati-Marathi population, the party is using issues like Article 370 to gain support from voters. While the constituencies have some plush areas like Lokhandwala Complex and Thakur village, there are a large number of slum pockets such as Laljipada, Damu Nagar and Wadarpada.
The BJP has fielded sitting MLAs Atul Bhatkhalkar and Yogesh Sagar from Kandivali and Charkop, respectively. While the MNS has not fielded a candidate in Charkop, the party has fielded Hemantkumar Kamble from Kandivali in these elections. From Congress, former corporator Ajanta Yadav will take on Bhatkhalkar in Kandivali while first timer Kalu Budhelia is pitted against Sagar.
While the Congress and the MNS are banking on local issues like access to toilets, addressing the issue of traffic congestion, etc, the BJP is playing its big cards here.
Over the past few weeks, the party has held massive roadshows, with several prominent leaders like UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and union defence minister Rajnath Singh visiting the constituency, majorly banking on issues like Article 370. The party has also promised a major revamp of the constituency by luring voters towards upcoming projects like Metro.
“We are completely sure about our success in the constituency. Over the past five years, a substantial amount of work has been done for road repairs and other developmental works. People want to see the same leaders yet again,” said sitting MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar.
Ajanta Yadav, however, said people living in the constituency still struggle with basic issues of sanitation and hygiene. “There is no management of public toilets and very poor planning of waste disposal and sewage. The ruling government has not done anything to address these issues, something that we will address after coming to power,” she said.
For a large number of residents of Kandivali, massive traffic jams across the western express highway are a serious problem. “During peak hours, it takes more than an hour to reach the highway, which is otherwise a 10-minute distance,” said Mehak Gupta, a resident of Lokhandwala Township.
In slum pockets of Kandivali and Charkop, poor roads, water shortage and bad maintenance of public amenities are some of the key issues. Adding to this are the delays in SRA projects. “Nobody pays any attention to people living in slum pockets. Some of the roads have no streetlights and are so narrow that if an emergency arises, it is difficult to even get an ambulance inside. But no party has done anything to solve these issues,” said Brijesh Mishra, a resident of Laljipada, a slum settlement.
Vasant Patil, who is a part of the Kandivali ALM, said there are several issues from poor transportation to environmental degradation that need to be tackled. “In these constituencies, infrastructure projects are putting immense strain on the existing resources. There are traffic jams, the air quality is bad and if people try to walk, footpaths are encroached upon. It’s high time that the leaders addressed these basic issues,” he said.