General Elections 2019: "Mumbai South Will Stay With Shiv Sena," Says Aaditya Thackeray

Mumbai's six constituencies will vote in one go in last and final phase of elections in Maharashtra on Monday.

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Aditya Thackeray campaigned for his party's Arvind Sawant on Thursday.

Mumbai:

In South Mumbai, home to some of India's richest, Congress's Milind Deora and Shiv Sena's Arvind Sawant are making every effort to reach out to voters. While both candidates say they are confident of winning, both have turned to the traditional style of campaigning.

Mumbai's six constituencies will vote in one go in last and final phase of elections in Maharashtra on Monday. Apart from Mumbai North, where actor Urmila Matondkar is the Congress candidate, South Mumbai is one of the most closely-watched constituencies.

Shiv Sena leader and the party's youth wing chief Aditya Thackeray campaigned for his party's Arvind Sawant on Thursday. With a bike rally crisscrossing the lanes of Worli, the young politician made sure to convey the message that the Sena leadership isn't taking the area lightly.

Aditya Thackeray has held five youth connect programmes, in Aurangabad, Maval, Mumbai, Nashik and Kolhapur, called 'Aditya Sanvad', where he had voters dial him with questions. He also took live questions, even tackling tough questions like why his party tied up with the BJP again after targeting the ruling party frequently, or whether there was any possibility of the Sena joining hands with the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena led by his father's estranged cousin, Raj Thackeray.

The call-in outreach was Thackeray junior's concept. An organiser connected to the event told NDTV, "We are sure that this programme will help the party as it ensures direct contact with approximately 30,000-35,000 youth and removes barriers that prevent people from sharing their views honestly and unapologetically with their leaders."

Speaking to NDTV from his open top campaign vehicle, Mr. Thackeray said, "It's more about the campaign league than campaign trail. Honestly, if you see the atmosphere it's quite electric. South Mumbai will stay with Shiv Sena and so will the rest of Mumbai and the state. It will stay with the Mahayuti, the BJP-SHIV SENA-RPI(A) tie up, primarily because people have seen our work for the last five years and our dedication towards serving the people. This is about the national election. This is about the leader they want to lead the country and this is about the Prime Minister of our nation. We will deliver a strong and focused government."

Refusing to predict a margin for Arvind Sawant, Mr. Thackeray said, "Had I to do predictions I would be a tarot card reader or a soothsayer. Currently my job is to ensure he wins so more than predictions I think I should get into working for his victory."

When asked about Mukesh Ambani's endorsement for Milind Deora, the Congress candidate for South Mumbai, Mr. Thackeray said, "The people of India have decided to stick with the NDA  government and its policies for economic reforms and bold steps for national security, women's safety, infrastructure growth, industry growth, ease of doing business, education reform. I think people from every economic strata will stay with the NDA irrespective of whatever happens."

Milind Deora, who also spoke to NDTV on his campaign trail, said, "For me, the paanwala who endorsed me, the small traders who supported me is equally enriching, exciting and encouraging. I think that is because South Mumbai is the commercial hub of India.  Everyone here is involved in some capacity with trade and commerce. Even the individual selling tea on the road. Representing their aspiration after they have been hit by various policies of the government is key and having an able representative who can raise their issues is my duty."

Milind Deora said in the last five years, Mumbai had "lost its voice" because people ignored their candidates and voted for the "Modi wave". As a result, he said, "candidates don't understand these issues well and haven't been effectively representing trade and industry."

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