With eye on 2017 Mumbai civic polls, Fadnavis tries to strike a chord with B-Town celebs

Updated: Dec 28, 2016, 09:38 IST | Gaurav Sarkar

Ahead of 2017 BMC polls, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis showers praises on ‘kalakaars’, most of whom reside in Versova and the neighbouring Lokhandwala areas

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis

With an eye on the civic polls, the BJP tried to strike a chord with the B-Town brigade at the Versova cultural festival. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who inaugurated the festival on Monday evening, was seen singing paeans to Bollywood celebrities, most of whom reside in Versova and the neighbouring Lokhandwala areas.

“The village of Versova has been an important part of Mumbai since the very beginning,” said Fadnavis, addressing a crowd primarily consisting of Versova Koliwada residents. He added, “I’m not sure what it is about Versova; is it an area where kalakaars are born, or does the area by default nurture and produce artistes?” Before his speech, artistes such as Udit Narayan and Sapna Awasthy, best known for their songs across Bollywood films, were felicitated by the CM.

Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with him were local MLA Bharti Lavekar as well as MLA Ameet Satam and Ashish Shelar — faces of the BJP in the suburbs. “I have requested to set up a Bollywood hub in Versova, where artistes are given everything from an editing studio to auditioning space,” said Lavekar. “This could be a huge success in the area.”

Acknowledging that Versova and Lokhandwala had for long been Shiv Sena and Congress strongholds, Lavekar expressed confidence about the BJP’s chances ahead of the 2017 BMC election in February.

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