Mumbai South Central will host a competition between a master political strategist and a mass leader

Mumbai, 15 May In the Mumbai South Central seat, where Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena nominee and incumbent MP Rahul Shewale is up against the Shiv Sena UBT candidates and former MP Anil Desai, there is a fierce battle between estranged friends and ardent Shiv Sainiks.

Both sides are portraying the struggle as a match between Rahul Shewale, the mass leader with an ear to the ground, and Anil Desai, the master political strategist.

Interestingly, Shewale and Desai, who fought for the right to use the Shiv Sena name and emblem, are campaigning for voters on behalf of the genuine Shiv Sena, advancing the ideas of the party’s founder, Balasaheb Thackeray.

Shewale, who rode PM Modi’s wave to victory as the Shiv Sena (United) candidate in the 2014 and 2019 elections, is fairly certain that he would score a hat trick by running on Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s pro-development platform and Modi’s assurance.

Shewale is relying on the Shiv Sena’s Shakha-level network in addition to the BJP’s election apparatus and the active participation of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s cadres, despite a vertical divide within the party.

Desai, who is running in his first Lok Sabha election, plans to win the seat by running against Shewale and the incumbent Modi administration.

Additionally, he is counting on the public’s compassion for Uddhav Thackeray and the plank to preserve the Constitution and democracy.

For him, a primary source of strength has been the Shakha-level Shiv Sainiks, together with Congress and NCP officials, communists, and members of other non-governmental organizations.

There are fourteen contenders competing. On May 20, a total of 9,51,738 voters—5,10,168 men and 4,41,389 women—will cast their ballots.

Fascinatingly, voters who identify as Muslim (19.7%) and Marathi (5742.22%) will be essential in determining the outcome.

Furthermore, 5.49 percent are North Indians, 1.53 percent are Gujarati, 1.1% are Christians, 8.6% are SC, and 6.16 percent are other groups. Apart from Muslims and other groups, Shewale and Desai are working hard to get as much support as possible among the Marathi Manoos.

Between 1989 and 2009, Shiv Sena had a record 20 years of representation in the seat; however, after the 2009 elections, Congress reclaimed control of the area. Nonetheless, Shiv Sena (United) gained seats in the past two elections.

Six assembly constituencies make up the constituency: Mahim (Shiv Sena), Anushakti Nagar (NCP), Sion Koliwada (BJP), Dharavi (Congress), and Wadala (BJP).

Mumbai Congress Chief Varsha Gaikwad, who is running from the nearby Mumbai North Central seat, represents Dharavi, but Desai is receiving a lot of support from her whole electoral network.

Malik is not in the public eye because of a court order, but the choice made by his followers and voters in his mostly Muslim electorate will be vital in determining Shewale and Desai’s chances of winning.

Shewale and Desai are boldly addressing the redevelopment of Dharavi, the biggest slum in Asia, as they campaign.

Shewale asserts that the project would transform Dharavi’s people’s lives by providing them with decent, livable dwellings and spurring the growth of an area larger than the current Bandra Kurla Complex.

Conversely, Desai states that his party is in favor of the Dharavi redevelopment but still objects to the way it was awarded since the developer received a lot of favors. He has been advocating vehemently for the open and honest application of redevelopment.

Other difficulties that are common in the constituency include the failing state of the infrastructure, the slums and transit camps, and the delays in the completion of various reconstruction projects.

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