Financial capital of the nation Mumbai on Sunday night turned political epicentre with two national parties and their former political allies taking to the stage shedding any last traces of diplomacy and going all out to take potshots at rival parties and chief ministerial candidates. On the last night of the campaign before the loudspeakers fell silent-the campaigning for the state assembly election 2014 ends Monday 5 pm-political parties put their fiercest face forward.
The city heard promises of all kinds, including getting disputed area of Belgaum back from Karnataka, better jobs, 50 new development policies, and a clean and corruption-free government. All within in span of three hours.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party, addressed two public meetings and ended the night at Chikoowadi, Borivali. Using words strategically, Modi wrapped up his campaign asking people of the city to consider him as one among them.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar renewed his war of words with Modi, as he addressed public gatherings in Mumbra, Bhiwandi, Sion-Koliwada, and Sewri. Addressing small pockets across the city, Pawar spoke of the recent ceasefire violations in Kashmir and stressed that Modi was disregarding his responsibilities as Prime Minister. “As a party person, you can address as many campaigns as you want, we do not have a problem with that. But as PM of a nation, your first responsibility is to protect the people of this country and you (Modi) have failed in doing so, we have a big problem with that,” Pawar told a gathering at Kalachowkie.
Taking the ‘son of the soil’ pitch to the farthest Maharashtrian, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray played to the gallery in Sena’s last rally at Bandra Kurla Complex. He even saved a last stunt, prostrating in front of the audience asking them to recall his father Bal
Thackeray and the Sena on polling date. He promised to launch 50 state-specific policies before 2016 when the Sena completes 50 years.
The Congress played the ‘clean image’ card, deploying former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to take stage as he campaigned for party spokesperson Sachin Sawant contesting from Magathane. The event also saw the party pulling in a lavni dancer just before Chavan took stage.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray who addressed a rally in Girgaon asked the PM to look after the country and leave the state to the locals.
For security agencies, the nightmare was evident with one SPG protectee and three state protectees criss-crossing venues and travelling with extended convoys on Mumbai roads. Through the evening, senior IPS officials were posted on all important routes taken by the party heads, with several security protocols in place.