The fishing community in Colaba Assembly constituency Wednesday heard from Rahul Narwekar his version of what has happened in Kashmir, which he clearly believes is top of the mind for them.
The BJP candidate for the constituency spoke at a public meeting with the community at Badhwar Park, where they have long lived in slum conditions, about how “not a single stone has been pelted nor a protest held” since the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5.
“The Congress played with the security of the country for its own political gain for 70 years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi abolished Articles 370 and 35 (A) in seven minutes. Did even one bomb blast take place? Was there any protest? The incidents of stone pelting have stopped,” Narwekar said in an election ‘sabha’ late on Wednesday night at Macchimaar Nagar in Badhwar Park, located metres from the spot where 10 terrorists, including Ajmal Kasab, had entered the city on November 26, 2008.
Narwekar, who was earlier with the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party, before joining the BJP, accused the Congress, which has been out of power in the state and Centre since 2014, for the recent economic slowdown and absence of jobs.
“Many are saying that the economy is facing a slowdown, and that the unemployment level has gone up. What is the reason? Under the Congress, their (leaders’) own pockets were filled through granting of loans to individuals and corporates. Whose money was that? It was the money of the poor, hardworking men and women like the fishing community here, which spends days at the sea for a livelihood. PM Modi put an end to it, declared many as Non-Performing Assets. Now, they are returning the money. It was the poor man’s money which was stolen. PM Modi is bringing justice to the poor,” Narwekar said.
Narwekar said that he will work for the identification of the reclaimed land where the fishermen’s colony stands.
The Colaba constituency in South Mumbai comprises of over 2.7 lakh voters and has a population mix of both high net-worth individuals, fishing communities and a middle class that includes Parsis and Marathi voters.
Narwekar, who was given a ticket over two-time MLA Raj Purohit, is pitted against Congress’s Ashok (Bhai) Jagtap.