Buoyed by Narendra Modi’s victory in the Gujarat assembly elections, the city unit of the BJP is now contemplating demanding the Mumbai-South parliamentary constituency from its ally, the Shiv Sena.
Party leaders believe that the area, outweighed by Gujarati-Marwadi and the trader community, should be with them, and the Sena should take the Mumbai (North Central) constituency instead.
In the last general elections, the Mumbai (South) constituency, which was earlier represented by BJP’s Jaywantiben Mehta, was given to Shiv Sena following delimitation. Sena candidate Mohan Rawale contested the elections and lost the seat to Congress party’s Milind Deora. Since then, a section in the BJP has been demanding that the seat be given back to the party.
With the victory in Gujarat, the BJP now thinks that it can cash upon the Gujarati sentiment. “We are planning to concentrate on the Gujarati belts in Mumbai, as we think we can score better if we focus on these areas,” said Niranjan Shetty, party’s media in-charge.
He also confirmed a likelihood of swapping the seats with the Shiv Sena. “We do think that South Mumbai should be with BJP, as we are strong this side,” Shetty said, adding that the BJP-Mumbai president Raj Purohit shall initiate talks on the same soon.
When contacted, a senior Shiv Sena leader, said, “The decision will be taken by the party high command. Parliamentary elections are too far, and any decision will be taken only after taking the local sentiments into consideration.”
Currently both the seats are with Congress. While Milind Deora represents Mumbai-(South), Priya Dutt is a MP from the North-Central constituency.