With names of several candidates being declared on Friday, the most interesting battles in Mumbai are shaping up as contests that will pitch the same candidates as in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. It is going to be Congress' Priya Dutt vs BJP's Poonam Mahajan again for the Mumbai Northwest constituency which is home to several Bollywood stars. In the last election, Poonam Mahajan defeated Priya Dutt who had held the seat since her father Sunil Dutt's death in 2005. While last time around the margin of defeat was nearly two lakh votes, it remains to be seen if Priya Dutt will be able to cover the gap this time and regain the seat for her party.
Priya Dutt had initially said she would not contest the elections this time but eventually agreed to contest after her party boss, Rahul Gandhi, insisted. Priya Dutt said she changed her mind thinking about the future of the country. Poonam Mahajan said she will campaign on the work she has done, as the future was in safe hands with Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.
Both Poonam Mahajan and Priya Dutt have inherited political legacies from their fathers, late Pramod Mahajan and late Sunil Dutt. So in the second round of this battle of daughters, it will be a test of who can convince the voters better. In a constituency that is often referred to as the constituency of stars owing to the high number of celebrities who stay and vote here, both Poonam Mahajan and Priya Dutt have a challenge on their hands.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Milind Deora will once again face off with Arvind Sawant in South Mumbai which is where some of the richest industrialists in India live. In 2014, Shiv Sena's Arvind Sawant had won but this time, Milind Deora hopes to be able to regain the lost seat.
One seat that is likely to be difficult for the NDA to retain is the Mumbai Northeast seat which was won by the BJP's Kirit Somaiya last time. The BJP hasn't declared his name yet as the Shiv Sena is upset with Mr Somaiya over his attacks on the Thackerays. The Sena is likely to withhold putting its might behind Mr Somaiya in its pockets of influence in the constituency.
Several other seats are seeing the same candidates as 2014. The Shiv Sena's Rahul Shewale takes on Congress's Eknath Gaikwad in the Mumbai Southcentral seat. While the Sena has a large voter base in Mumbai, Eknath Gaikwad enjoys considerable support within his constituency and could pose a challenge to Mr Shewale. For the Mumbai North Constituency, BJP's Gopal Shetty, the sitting lawmaker is still waiting for his opponent's name to be officially announced. The last time he defeated the Congress's Sanjay Nirupam.