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  Metros   Mumbai  28 Apr 2019  Arun Gawli’s party supports Sena’s SoBo candidate in SoBo

Arun Gawli’s party supports Sena’s SoBo candidate in SoBo

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Apr 28, 2019, 1:33 am IST
Updated : Apr 28, 2019, 1:33 am IST

Arvind Sawant, who is the sitting MP, is locked in a tough battle with Milind Deora of the Congress.

Shiv Sena leader Arvind Sawant. (Photo: File)
 Shiv Sena leader Arvind Sawant. (Photo: File)

Mumbai: Shiv Sena received a boost in the south Mumbai constituency as gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli’s Akhil Bharatiya Sena (ABS) Saturday announced support to Sena candidate Arvind Sawant for the Lok Sabha polls.

Mr Sawant, who is the sitting MP, is locked in a tough battle with Milind Deora of the Congress.

 

Arun Gawli’s wife Asha, daughter Geeta and ABS leader Vijay Ahir held talks with the BJP-Sena alliance’s Konkan co-ordinator Prasad Lad, Sena secretary Milind Narvekar, and BMC standing committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav.

After the meeting, Geeta Gawli announced the party’s support for the BJP-Sena alliance.

The ABS has its pockets of influence in the Byculla and Chinchpokli areas.

Arun Gawli was elected from the previous Chinchpokli constituency.  Geeta Gawli is a corporator from ward no 212 in Byculla.

The ABS support is expected to help Sena candidate Sawant in the south Mumbai constituency.

In the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Geeta Gawli has extended her support to BJP in the past.

 

In 2014, Sawant was elected from the constituency with a margin of 1.25 lakh votes against two-time former MP Deora. But then, MNS’s Bala Nandgaonkar had secured more than 84,000 votes, mostly from Maharashtrian voters.

With the MNS not contesting and supporting the Congress nominee this time, the support of ABS could prove crucial for the Sena.

The constituency, which has a mix of middle-class and upscale, wealthy residents, had then recorded an unprecedented voter turnout of 53 per cent.

The South Mumbai constituency has more than 15.30 lakh voters.

While Worli and Sewri have the highest number of Marathi voters, Byculla and Mumbadevi have a large number of Muslims.

 

Of the six Assembly seats, two (Worli and Sewri) are with the Sena, another two (Malabar Hill and Colaba) are with the BJP, one (Mumbadevi) is with the Congress, and the Byculla seat is with the AIMIM. Congress is counting on the recent endorsement of its candidate Milind Deora by Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani.

The Congress hopes to cash in on the resentment among small enterprise owners, who, reports suggest, are still recovering from the twin “shocks” of demonetisation and GST, to win the Mumbai south Lok Sabha seat -– home to the business district of Colaba and the famous bullion market, Zaveri Bazaar.

The party is also counting on the recent endorsement of its candidate and Mumbai unit president Milind Deora by Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, a prominent South Mumbai resident, to win the community’s votes.

 

Tags: arun gawli, 2019 lok sabha polls, arvind sawant