The BJP flags along the way to Sandesh Nagar in Kurla West marks the road to the sabha to be presided over by BJP’s Yuva Morcha national president Poonam Mahajan, the Lok Sabha MP from the area Thursday evening. As she comes on stage, a bust of Chhatrapti Shivaji Maharaj is brought out and kept on a table. Mahajan offers flowers to the warrior king before taking to the podium. Starting with the chant of Bharat Mata Ki Jai, the MP tries to connect with the voters by highlighting what the BJP-led state and Central governments have done for the people of Mumbai.
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With a dismal presence of the party in the BMC from this Vidhan Sabha constituency, achievements of the government are one of the focal points of her campaigning.
With Sandesh Nagar being one of the slums located in proximity to the airport, she seeks to highlight how a survey has begun to provide relief to such slum-dwellers by providing them rehabilitation.
“In the next three months, the proofs of at least 4,000 households should be submitted before the Slum Rehabilitation Authority by ensuring better coordination so you can be allotted houses,” she says.
As she promises to take care of issues related to water and toilets, the crowd breaks out into a slogan to show their support.
Discussing how she has been made the president of Yuva Morcha because of their support, Mahajan tries connecting with the people of Sandesh Nagar on a personal note as they are mostly from Marathwada, the region she has roots in.
“The next Mumbai mayor should be from the BJP,” she adds, asking people to vote for BJP candidate advocate Sudhir Khatu.
Listing what she has done for them through her MPLAD funds in the last two-and-a-half years, Mahajan says she has worked to directly connect with people.
“Out of the four Vidhan Sabha seats of Kurla West, we don’t have corporators and MLAs in Chandivli, Kalina and Bandra East, and this has been the focus of my campaigning,” she explains.
Refraining from commenting on the BJP-Shiv Sena split and its effect on the elections, Mahajan says her party is hoping to win a larger number of seats by focusing on the work it has done so far in the state and in the country.
From Marathi in Sandesh Nagar, she switches to Hindi in Naupada that has a large migrant population from Odisha and focuses on how Mumbai is for everyone. She promises better infrastructure for them if the BJP is voted to power.
“Every party is fighting these elections in its own way. There are some who have switched sides and don’t seem to have the people’s interests in mind,” she says.
“There are those who are trying to divide in the name of religion and language but we in Mumbai have accepted everyone and made them part of the city,” she adds.
Pointing out how she won because of them and promising to ensure drainage and toilets in the area, she concludes her speech with a plea to vote for the BJP candidate Harish Bhandirge before zipping off to her next destination.