The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to field national secretary Poonam Mahajan Rao, daughter of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, from the Mumbai North Central constituency in the Lok Sabha elections.
Mahajan’s name was sent to Delhi from the BJP’s Maharashtra office on Wednesday, reportedly to appease her uncle Gopinath Munde, who was miffed that his party had overlooked him when it declared Devendra Fadnavis as the man who would take political decisions in the state for the elections. He skipped the meeting in which Mahajan’s nomination came up.
Tough task: Poonam Mahajan. File pic
However, many in the BJP claim she was a unanimous choice and attributed it to her own hard work. A senior BJP leader said, “Mahajan has worked hard for herself in the last few years. She is a changed person, not the same one who lost in the assembly polls (in 2009). She worked her way into the RSS, where many leaders in the last few years have struggled to get into. She is amongst the youngest to be the national secretary of the party.”
Mahajan has a tough task of upstaging incumbent MP Priya Dutt, daughter of late actor and politician Sunil Dutt; she won in the last general elections by a huge margin.
Dutt got 48 per cent of the total votes polled; the BJP candidate, Mahesh Jethmalani, was not even close to the half way mark. He had managed to secure a mere 21 per cent votes. The MNS candidate came in third with 19 per cent votes.
However, if sources are to be believed, the MNS might not declared a candidate from this seat, as Mahajan shares a good rapport with Raj Thackeray.
Also in the run for the seat is Samajwadi Party’s Abu Azmi. With the Aam Aadmi Party also looking to contest the seat, Dutt’s vote share may take a hit.