As Counting Begins in Mumbai, Can the Congress-NCP Alliance Hold Back BJP-Shiv Sena Surge in Mumbai Lok Sabha Election 2019?

News18.com
In Mumbai, prominent candidates like Gopal Shetty, Sanjay Nirupam, Milind Deora, Arvind Sawant, Urmila Matondkar, Priya Dutt and Poonam Mahajan are locked in a battle between the two alliances of Congress-NCP and BJP-Shiv Sena.

Mumbai Lok Sabha Election: Elections in Mumbai are always keenly watched for its high profile candidates and its high profile voters. The city also holds six crucial Lok Sabha seats out of a total 48 in Maharashtra. It will soon be clear which candidates will emerge victorious in Mumbai as counting begins.

Mumbai went to polls on April 29 and the city saw a number of prominent candidates in the fray. The six seats on offer in the city are Mumbai North, Mumbai North-West, Mumbai North-East, Mumbai North-Central, Mumbai South-Central and Mumbai South.

In Mumbai, it is a head on contest between the two alliances of Congress-NCP and BJP-Shiv Sena. BJP and Sena had swept Mumbai in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, winning all six seats. There are some prominent candidates like Gopal Shetty, Sanjay Nirupam, Milind Deora, Arvind Sawant, Urmila Matondkar, Priya Dutt and Poonam Mahajan.

Here are the ten key developments from Mumbai you need to know ahead of counting:

1) The News18-IPSOS exit poll suggested a landslide win for the BJP-Shiv Sena combine, handing the alliance 42 to 44 seats in the state out of a total 48, while predicting the Congress-NCP alliance to win a mere 2 to 4 seats. In Mumbai, the exit poll said the NDA was set to win the crucial seats of Mumbai North and Mumbai North-Central, where Gopal Shetty and Poonam Mahajan are the candidates, respectively.

2) The hyper urban Mumbai has often been accused of political apathy reflected in its low voter turnout during polls. This time however, the city set a 30-year high with 55.1 per cent voter turnout, the highest since 1989 when the polling percentage was recorded at 57.7 per cent. The NDA, which won all six seats in the city in 2014, believe high turnout shows a rallying support for PM Modi, while Congress believes it is an anti-incumbency surge. The Lok Sabha election results will make Mumbai's mandate clear.

3) A high profile battle is in Mumbai South between Congress' Milind Deora and Shiv Sena's Arvind Sawant. Deora, who was elected MP from the seat in 2004 and 2009, lost to Sawant in 2014. His father, Murli Deora, had represented the constituency for three terms from 1984. This time, Mukesh Ambani has thrown his weight behind Deora and the contest could go down the wire.

4) Another high stakes battle is between Bollywood actor and Congress newcomer Urmila Matondkar and BJP's Gopal Shetty in Mumbai North. In 2014, Shetty, had beaten then Congress Mumbai president Sanjay Nirupam from the seat. Nirupam is hoping Matondkar, with her star power and Maharashtrian connect, can do better. Interestingly, Bollywood actor Govinda had won this seat contesting on a Congress ticket in the 2004 elections.

5) In Mumbai North Central, its a battle of family legacy between Poonam Mahajan and Priya Dutt. Mahajan is the daughter of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, while Dutt is the daughter of actor and five-time MP Sunil Dutt. Dutt's brother, actor Sanjay Dutt, has intensively campaigned for her. The contest is essentially a rematch; Mahajan, riding a 'Modi wave' had beaten Dutt in 2014 polls.

6) Former Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam is this time in contest from Mumbai North-West seat against Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar. Nirupam would be hoping for the sizable number of Musllim votes to fall in his kitty.

7) Mumbai is grappling with a range of civic issues like infrastructure and traffic. The bridge collapse earlier this year that killed six people is also important in the context of polls. Creaking infrastructure is Mumbai's major issue.

8) Maharashtra Navnirman Sena is not contesting polls but has actively campaigned against the BJP and Shiv Sena and advised Marathi voters to not vote for them. The MNS chief has conducted several rallies and spoken on farmer distress and also attacked PM Modi directly. It remains to be seen if MNS manages to sway voters.

9) Lok Sabha election result will also indicate which party will have the edge in the upcoming Assembly polls in Maharashtra. The state is holding Assembly elections later this year in October. Massive farmer unrest, reflected by multiple Kisan marches, severe drought could spell doom for the Devendra Fadnavis government in the state.

10) Whenever Mumbai votes, the cameras follow celebrities and actors turning up to vote. PM Modi has of late tried to woo Bollywood too. Modi held a meeting with actors and directors, addressing a few industry concerns and was later seen in a selfie with the big names of Bollywood.