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Dr Shrikant Shinde interview: ‘Will win over 35 seats; MNS not contesting will give a boost to Sena in Kalyan’

Shiv Sena’s Dr Shrikant Shinde, sitting MP from Kalyan constituency, tells The Indian Express about his work and why the Narendra Modi-led coalition will rule the country for one more term.

Kalyan has been a Shiv Sena bastion. In the last election, I got 53 per cent of the votes while the MNS received only 14 per cent. The mentality of the MNS matches our thinking

Your constituency has seen massive in-migration of people. What work have you done to ensure that the infrastructure is sufficient to serve the people living in the area?

Since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, my major focus has been on ensuring the development of infrastructure in Kalyan. Over the last few years, nearly 50 local train services have been increased on the Kalyan-Kasara and Kalyan-Karjat routes. We have also taken up the widening of the Kalyan-Shil road and work on other roads are in progress. The Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan and Kalyan-Taloja Metro are in the pipeline. I have also made efforts in smoothing out problems that were there on the fifth and sixth railway lines between Thane and Kalyan after detailed interactions with the Central Railway general manager and the state government. Hopefully by September, these lines will be operational. Once operational, these will segregate local and long distance trains and we could have more local trains. We have also initiated work on the water transport system, which will connect Thane-Kalyan in the first phase and then right up to Navi Mumbai and Colaba in the second phase. Further, I have got Rs 1,000 crore sanctioned for Kalyan-Airoli elevated road corridor. All this will help in improving the lives of my voters.

The issue of 27 villages in Kaylan taluka being brought under the purview of the Kalyan Dombivali Corporation has created a lot of rancour among people. What is your stand on this?

This is to ensure that people of these villages get improved facilities and services. We are doing our best to improve the living standards of the area. In some villages, we have planned a growth centre with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority planning to transform it into a business hub. Once it is completed, it will be like new the Bandra Kurla Complex. There are some issues that villagers have raised about land acquisition, but we are proactively trying to find a solution to it.

MNS is not contesting. Will it have a bearing on this election?

Kalyan has been a Shiv Sena bastion. In the last election, I got 53 per cent of the votes while the MNS received only 14 per cent. The mentality of the MNS matches our thinking. If it is not contesting, it will give the Sena a boost and I am sure that I will win with a bigger margin this time.

The dumping ground issue in Kalyan finds resonance in every election. Yet parties have not been able to find a solution to this issue. What is your take on it?


The dumping of waste has stopped. There have been protests by villagers in the past. We are moving to a waste to energy system that the Thane Municipal Corporation is following. A similar system will be introduced in the Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation.

Since you are a doctor, do you think enough work has been done to ensure that voters in your constituency are healthy?

To provide better facilities, we plan to create two multi-specialty hospitals in every legislative Assembly. In Kausa, we will soon open a new hospital. We have also sanctioned Rs 125 crore for the ESIC hospital, which was in a dilapidated condition and will soon be opened for the public. We are creating a system to set up dialysis centres in all Assembly constituencies where people can be treated at cheap rates.


How are you utilising social media to reach to the public?

I have a team of five members who handle social media. Our main focus is to spread positivity, by letting people know what the government has done in the last five years with factual proof. I am not going to use social media to spread negativity about other candidates.

How many seats do you think the BJP-Sena will win in Maharashtra?

As per the current scenario, our alliance will win over 35 seats. The people have a very positive perception about us. We are seen as a government that can deliver on its promises and is decisive. We will ensure that Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads the country for one more term.

First published on: 05-04-2019 at 04:08 IST
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