Photo: DNA RNA
A battle of ideologies and a fight of dynasties,this constituency in Maharashtra has it all. Among the 117 constituencies that are going to polls in the 6th phase of the elections is the constituency of Mumbai North-Central. All the candidates in this constituency are big faces and come from political backgrounds in one or the other way. This constituency has remained loyal to Congress for many years with late Sunil Dutt winning from here 5 times and her daughter already a 2 time Member of Parliament.
This time however, the battle is not going to be a smooth one for Priya Dutt, daughter of Sunil Dutt. In 2009, she had won with a huge margin of votes when her main rival was a BJP candidate but this time around, certain reasons show that Priya has an upper hand but it will be a tough fight. BJP-Shiv Sena have pitched Poonam Mahajan- daughter of late Pramod Mahajan against Congress Priya Dutt which is believed to have its impact. The BJP hasn’t given up hope and has campaigned throughout with its PM candidate Narendra Modi also addressing rallies in Mumbai.
The party hopes Poonam Mahajan will be able to enthuse the Marathi voters in the area. Raj Thackerey’s decision to not field any candidate against BJP this time will also help in getting BJP more votes as it will help in consolidating the votes earlier divided between MNS and BJP.
Not only this, Congress this time also faces competition from Samajwadi Party, which has decided to field its candidate this election after 14 years. The Samajwadi Party has put up a candidate, Farhan Azmi, whose father, Abu Azmi, heads the party in Mumbai. He could cut into Dutt’s support base in the slums. Farhan Azmi is married to Bollywood actor Ayesha Takia, and will be hopeful of getting some elite votes and the area’s Christian votes as well. Plus the newly emerged AAP’s candidate senior lawyer Phiroze Palkhivala, son of jurist Nani Palkhivala was nominated recently. Although he will not have much impact but it will certainly cut away some votes of the minority in this constituency.
Priya Dutt who is trying to hit a hatrick in this Lok Sabha Election has the disadvantage of the Congress anti-incumbency at the Centre and the issues of slums in Mumbai. She has already said that her priority after being elected this election would be the slum development and their rehabilitation. Many people accuse her of being not-reachable to the common people but many of her supporters in the slums say that she worked for women by giving them loans. Priya Dutt is the only MP who introduced bills in the Parliament and her MP expenditure for the local area development shows that 69 percent of the fund has been used for health and family welfare.
The constituency of Mumbai North-Central includes areas like Bandra, Kundra, Kalina, Vile Parle and Chandivali. 19 constituencies will go to polls in this phase that will end the polling here in Maharashtra for all its 48 seats.