BJP and Shiv Sena slug it out for Dharavi's rich vote-bank

Bharatiya Janata Party ropes in senior leaders to campaign in Dharavi; Shiv Sena claims they have no knowledge of the area

Dharavi might be Asia’s biggest slum, which spells one thing for those in the political circles — a large vote bank. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena are slugging it out in a bid to woo the voters. The former is pumping in all its resources but the latter claims it’s all in vain. 

(L to R) Divya Dholay and BJP State President Devendra Fadnavis campaign in Dharavi. FILE PIC 

On October 10, senior BJP leaders Shatrughan Sinha, Shahnawaz Hussain and Vinod Tawde campaigned in Dharavi, while Sushma Swaraj paid a visit on October 9. Yesterday, it was Venkaiah Naidu who turned up to speak to the residents. There are several communities residing in Dharavi, and the politicos are ensuring that they speak to each of them.

While Swaraj spoke to the Valmiki community, Sinha and Hussain had a word with the North Indians and Muslims residing there. Naidu was expected to woo the South Indians from this constituency. “Senior leaders from the party are coming forward in my support because they realise that without the development of Dharavi, Mumbai cannot be developed,” said Divya Dholay, the BJP candidate from Dharavi.

BJP party workers claim that they want to create industrial hubs that would cater to local, international and indigenous markets for the small-scale industries there. Shiv Sena, which was earlier to represent Dharavi as part of the BJP-Sena coalition before the break-up happened, is going hammer and tongs against BJP.

Party workers from Sena claim that BJP is trying to hijack the show by bringing in senior leaders. “BJP had no face to show and so, they have started pushing their candidate who is not even from Dharavi and has no knowledge of the area,” said Baburao Mane, Shiv Sena candidate.

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