Maharashtra Assembly Election 2019: In Borivali,a novice replaces sitting minister
Some of the prominent issues in Borivali assembly constituency include congestion along major roads owing to hawkers, which often leads to traffic jams, slow-paced redevelopment projects and lack of basic amenities such as clean drinking water in parts of slums adjoining the Gorai creek.Updated: Oct 11, 2019 12:21 IST
As parties started to announce their nominations for the constituencies in the state, Borivali saw an interesting turning point – the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominated Sunil Rane, instead of its current incumbent and state minister Vinod Tawde.
While the constituency has always been a BJP stronghold (Vinod Tawde won the elections in 2014, with a margin of nearly 80,000 votes), Rane has to ensure that he gets support from the Marathi-Gujarati communities, which constitute over 75% of the total voters.
In 2014, the Congress candidate from the constituency got only 30,000 votes. After Rane’s candidature was announced, a section of party workers were unhappy. After the intervention of senior party leaders, including the current MP Gopal Shetty, all of them now seem to be campaigning for Rane. “We want to ultimately see the party win and so have decided to support the new candidate,” said a party worker.
With the MNS not fielding a candidate, the Congress, which had secured 9% of the vote share in 2014, is the only opposition that Rane will face. The party has fielded Kumar Khillare, a local Marathi face. “The BJP’s current candidate is from Prabhadevi and would not know the issues of this constituency. I have been working for this constituency for more than 30 years now and want to solve several issues – from traffic woes to health facilities,” he said. A graduate of JJ school of art, he said he would use his creativity to beautify the constituency.
Rane, however, said he knows the pulse of the constituency. “There is no question of where anyone lives, what matters is where he belongs. I have spent 30 years in Air India as a sportsperson amongst the legends in the field and have also taken up a large number of initiatives for society after that, be it in education or other areas,” he said.
Some of the prominent issues include congestion along major roads owing to hawkers, which often leads to traffic jams, slow-paced redevelopment projects and lack of basic amenities such as clean drinking water in parts of slums adjoining the Gorai creek.
Residents said that with the ever-growing population of the constituency, its resources are largely strained. “At the moment, Borivali is be one of the most crowded stations on the western line. Apart from residents of Borivali, those staying in nearby areas like Dahisar, Mira Road and Kandivali also travel to the station to avoid the peak-hour rush. While efforts have been made to improve the station infrastructure, areas around the railway station are poorly managed with barely any space to walk,” said resident Saloni Parekh. Despite the new candidate, locals said the BJP would still get an upper hand as most people in the constituency support the party’s national leadership. “Gujaratis and Marathis both feel that there is no other alternative to the BJP, considering its overall strength at the Centre and the state,” said Janardan Mane, a resident.
First Published: Oct 11, 2019 00:31 IST