The Upshakha pramukh of the Shiv Sena in Dadar, 61-year-old Pandharinath Hase goes from door to door, campaigning for BJP-Shiv Sena candidate Rahul Shewale, who is contesting from Mumbai South Central Lok Sabha seat. He is distributing pamphlets and a report card of Shewale to people. This is the second round of campaigning in the area by the shiv sainiks in the last two weeks.
“Namaskar, Rahul Shewale saheb ubhe aahet. Dhanushya baan lakshat theva (Namaste, Rahule Shewale is contesting the polls. Please keep in mind the bow and arrow),” says Hase.
On Saturday, Hase was accompanied by three gat pramukhs Krishna Patil, Sadashiv Shinde and Manoj Navalkar in Shankarrao Paralkar Marg and Bhikoba Waman Pathare Marg in Dadar.
While they are busy with door-to-door campaigning between 10 am and noon and 5 pm and 8 pm daily, they cancelled the campaigning in the last minute on Saturday morning to attend a debate of candidates organised by a residents’ association in Mahim.
The programme was over at around 11.30 am but the sainiks decided to campaign in the evening. At around 4 pm, the sainiks started gathering near the Shivneri building on Shankarrao Paralkar Marg in Dadar. Soon, they started campaigning in chawls and buildings in the area. In the Marathi-dominated residential buildings, Hase and other sainiks were welcomed with a smile.
“Why are you giving me all this? I don’t need it; we know everything,” says a person from Lalit Estate building when Hase hands him a pamphlet and a report card.
Hase says they know people in the area by their names as they are in touch with them throughout the year. “So, we don’t need to explain much about the Sena or the candidate,” he adds.
“This is our second round in the area. We did the first round ten days back,” he adds. However, when meeting Gujarati families, the sainiks take Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name while giving out pamphlets and report cards.
“It connects with them immediately if we take Modi’s name,” says Shinde, handing out campaign material to a Gujarati woman.
“Dharavi will be tough for us. Though the Congress didn’t do much work there, it does have a hold in the area,” says Navalkar.
Dharavi is one of the six Assembly constituencies in Mumbai South Central Lok Sabha constituency represented by Congress legislator Varsha Gaikwad.
Her father, Eknath Gaikwad, two-time former MP, is the Congress candidate contesting against Shewale.