BJP candidate Poonam Mahajan filed her nomination from the Mumbai Northwest constituency today, setting the stage for another showdown with Priya Dutt of the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections.
Many have termed the upcoming battle in the constituency as one of political legacies. While Poonam Mahajan is the daughter of the late Pramod Mahajan, who was a senior member in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet, Priya Dutt is the daughter of late actor-turned-politician Sunil Dutt.
Mr Dutt, who died in May 2005, was the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports in the previous Manmohan Singh government. His daughter will file her nomination on Monday.
Poonam Mahajan led a one-kilometre rally from Kalanagar to the Collector's office in Mumbai's Bandra to the accompaniment of electoral drumbeats before making her candidature official today. "In 2014, there was a Modi wave. But in 2019, the country will witness a tsunami in his favour, and the Mahamilawat (in a jibe at the opposition's grand alliance) will be completely uprooted. I believe in my kind of politics. In 2019, I want to look at ways to take that forward and do more for my constituency," she told reporters after filing her nomination.
Speaking to NDTV from her open jeep, she said that fulfilment of promises made by her in the 2014 elections is the only thing that people will judge her on. "It may be a battle of political legacies, but this is not my father's constituency. I have come here with my work. In 2014, I asked the people to vote for me, and they did that. I have spent the last five years fulfilling what I promised. The people are happy, and they will vote for me," Poonam Mahajan said.
The BJP leader, who is also the head of the party's youth wing, had defeated Priya Dutt by a margin of 1.86 lakh votes in the 2014 elections.
When asked if this would culminate in a contest between two strong women, Poonam Mahajan shrugged. "Every woman is strong in this country, and that's how we are made. She is equipped with both biological and mental strength. I don't see a battle here because battles are always difficult. I was always available and accessible, and that will pay off," she said.
Mumbai Northwest is often referred to as the constituency of stars owing to the number of Bollywood celebrities residing here. "Be as that may, I think of all voters as my stars. I don't know about particular stars, but any voter who votes for the BJP is our star and superstar," said Poonam Mahajan.