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MVA will sweep Mumbai, people want to save democracy: Cong nominee Varsha Gaikwad

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MUMBAI, April 27: Mumbai Congress president Varsha Gaikwad on Friday claimed the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition will win all the six Lok Sabha seats in the metropolis as people have made up their minds to save the Constitution and democracy.

In an interview with PTI, Gaikwad, the Congress nominee from Mumbai North Central Lok Sabha seat and the sitting MLA from Dharavi, which falls under Mumbai South Central constituency, said she is not an “outsider” and will function as “people’s MP” if she is elected.

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Mumbai North Central constituency was earlier represented by Gaikwad’s party colleague Priya Dutt and has been represented by BJP MP Poonam Mahajan for the last two terms.

“My assembly segment Dharavi falls under Mumbai South Central parliamentary constituency and is separated from Mumbai North Central constituency by a 200-metre bridge. I am not an outsider here because as the Mumbai Congress president for the last 10 to 11 months, I have visited every nook and corner of the city and interacted with party cadres,” said the former Maharashtra minister.

“I am an organisation person. I am known as a people’s politician and will be a people’s MP who is always available to them to resolve their problems and highlight their issues,” asserted the Congress leader, whose late father Eknath Gaikwad was a party veteran and served as an MP and an MLA.

The BJP won Mumbai North Central seat in the last two Lok Sabha polls and the undivided Shiv Sena played a big role in that. Now, the Shiv Sena (UBT) is with us along with the NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar), Gaikwad noted.

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The Congress, the Shiv Sena (UBT) and the NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) are constituents of the MVA.

Gaikwad’s candidature was announced by the Congress on Thursday, after weeks of deliberations. She had expressed interest in contesting from Mumbai South-Central seat, which was earlier represented by her father.

She, however, does not agree that there was a delay in announcing her candidature.

“There was no delay in announcing the ticket. Things are done at the right time,” she said.

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“The MVA will win all the six seats (in Mumbai) as the situation is conducive for the opposition alliance. People have made up their minds to punish those who maligned the state’s civilised politics… they want to protect the Constitution and save democracy,” she added.

Mumbai North Central constituency goes to polls along with 12 other seats in Maharashtra on May 20 in the fifth round of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections.

Gaikwad said she has a strong connection with people who are aware of her work as a public representative.

“I am a loyal worker of the party and a follower of its ideology. I will always be available to highlight people’s issues and fight for them. People call me ‘tai’ (elder sister) and they should treat me like their family member,” she said.

As part of its seat-sharing arrangement with MVA allies, the Congress is contesting Mumbai North Central and Mumbai North seats.

The Shiv Sena (UBT) is contesting the remaining four seats in the financial capital — Mumbai South, Mumbai South Central, Mumbai North East and Mumbai North West. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party has named candidates for all four seats.

The Congress did not win any Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai in the 2014 and 2019 general elections.

The undivided Shiv Sena, in alliance with the BJP, had won three seats in 2019. Out of its three MPs, only Arvind Sawant (Mumbai South) remained with Thackeray after the party suffered a split in June 2022.

The two other MPs, Rahul Shewale (Mumbai South Central) and Gajanan Kirtikar (Mumbai North West), switched to the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. While Shewale has been renominated from his seat, Kiritkar did not get a ticket. (PTI)






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