The BJP's Gopal Shetty filed his nomination for the Mumbai North constituency today. He is the first candidate from Mumbai to file his nomination and he takes on the Congress's Urmila Matondkar. The Congress in banking on a Govinda-like performance from her as the actor had defeated heavy weight Ram Naik in 2004.
Mr Shetty held a seven kilometre road show before filing his nomination in Bandra. "The people will make me win and they have already decided the margin. I try to give my best and I have delivered 100 per cent. Now people have to vote 100 per cent for me," he said.
Mr Shetty thanked his rival Urmila Matondkar for adding "glamour" to his campaign. "There is no challenge. I want to thank Urmilaji as after she announced her candidature there is glamour in my campaign. People are out on the streets and even mediapersons come and meet me. So many journalists never came to meet me. That's why I want to thank her."
Maharashtra's Education Minister and legislator from Borivali Assembly constituency which is a part of this Lok Sabha seat, Vinod Tawde, told NDTV, "Last time the margin was four lakh fifty thousand. This time the margin is going to be five lakh fifty thousand. Those who talk about Govinda's win, forget that at that time, Vasai, Virar and Palghar were a part of the constituency. That's why Govinda won. In this constituency Govinda was behind by two lakh votes even then. Sanjay Nirupam ran away from this seat and trapped Urmila Matondkar here."
Since then, the constituency has been delimited and the BJP had managed to defeat Congress's Sanjay Nirupam in 2014 by around four lakh forty six thousand votes. The BJP says in 2009, Mr Nirupam managed to win as the fledgling Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) led by Raj Thackeray had cut into the Marathi votes that would have otherwise gone to the Sena-BJP alliance. The constituency is now seen as a BJP stronghold with a huge Gujarati population.
Urmila Matondkar has maintained that she is a serious contender in politics and will take on Gopal Shetty with all her might as it's a battle of ideology.
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