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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Lok Sabha Elections 2024 This time in Mumbai Marathi vote holds key

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: This time in Mumbai, Marathi vote holds key

Updated on: 11 May,2024 04:07 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Prajakta Kasale |

For the first time in more than a decade, 10 out of the 12 major candidates in city’s six constituencies are from the community

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: This time in Mumbai, Marathi vote holds key

Representation Pic

For the first time in the past 15 years, the election has pivoted towards Marathi votes, with prominent parties granting tickets to 10 Marathi candidates out of 12. While MVA is vying for all six seats with Marathi candidates, Mahayuti has put forward four. In 2009 and 2014, only six candidates (50 per cent) were Marathi; in 2019, seven Marathi candidates contested in the national polls. According to data, Marathi voters comprise 37 per cent of Mumbai’s electorate.

In Mumbai, there are six Lok Sabha seats, with a direct contest between Maha Vikas Aaghadi and MahaYuti. With the exception of the North and North East constituencies, all four remaining seats will witness battles between Marathi candidates. Piyush Goyal in the North and Mihir Kotech in the North East are the sole non-Marathi contenders in the primary fray.

Marathi candidates

The splitting of Shiv Sena has already made an impact on the vote bank. Even the entry of MNS into Mahayuti at the last moment underlines the importance of the Marathi vote bank in this election. Congress, which previously adopted a mix of Marathi and non-Marathi candidates, has now allocated both tickets to Marathi candidates. Meanwhile, the BJP unveiled both non-Marathi candidates in the initial list for Maharashtra candidates in March. Subsequently, the party attempted to restore balance by nominating a Marathi candidate, aiming to prevent any polarisation of votes based on language.

“There isn’t a Marathi vs. Non-Marathi issue. It’s a conspiracy by UBT Sena to propagate mass delusion. We won’t tolerate injustice against Marathi people, while simultaneously ensuring fair treatment for Gujarati constituents. Whenever nationalist sentiments rally behind Modi and BJP, UBT Sena attempts to fragment the votes,” remarked Ashish Shelar, President of Mumbai BJP.

Political analyst Prakash Akolkar said, “The outcome of the Mumbai region’s election significantly hinges on Marathi votes. In this election, the deliberate allocation of tickets aimed to fragment or polarise Marathi votes. Even the Congress’s decision to field a Marathi candidate in the North constituency stands out as somewhat unusual.”

Non Marathi candidates

Piyush Goyal, BJP and Mihir Kotecha, BJP
Piyush Goyal, BJP and Mihir Kotecha, BJP

Kishori Pednekar, a spokesperson for Shiv Sena (UBT), said, “Our Shiv Sena has consistently championed the cause of Marathi people and the Marathi language. The candidates fielded by other parties merely pay lip service to Marathi interests. It’s not just Marathi voters; everyone is fed up with the BJP government, and this sentiment will reflect in the polls.”

Manisha Kayande of Shiv Sena emphasised, “Shiv Sena has always stood firm for the rights of Marathi people, ensuring that our candidates represent their interests. While BJP, being a national party, has fielded both Marathi and non-Marathi candidates, I don’t believe it’s a deliberate strategy.”

Marathi Vs Gujarati

Though the issue was raised by MNS and Shiv Sena in the past, Congress never took part in the controversy. This time MNS and Shinde Sena, which are along with BJP, didn’t utter a word on the issue and instead, Mumbai Congress Chief has supported Marathi in the city.

Entry of MNS, but no ticket

Entry of MNS at the last moment underlined the fact that the election is based on fetching Marathi votes. MNS had fetched over lakhs of votes in every constituency in 2009 resulting in the loss of all six candidates of Sena-BJP. In 2014, the votes were reduced to half, and MNS stayed out of the election in 2019. MNS has a base of Marathi voters. But there isn’t a single candidate of the party in the election.

Past Elections

In 2009: Out of 12 candidates, six were Marathi.
Marathi: Ram Naik (BJP), Gajanan Kirtikar (SS), Sanjay Patil (Congress), Eknath Gaikwad (Congress), Suresh Gambhir (SS), Mohan Rawle (SS)
Non-Marathi: Sanjay Nirupam (Congress), Gurdas Kamat (Congress), Priya Dutt (Congress), Mahesh Jethmalani (BJP), Kirit Somaiya (BJP), Milind Deora (Congress)
Elected: two Marathi MPs
In 2014: Out of 12, six were Marathi candidates.
Marathi: Gajanan Kirtikar (SS), Poonam Mahajan (BJP), Sanjay Patil (Congress), Arvind Sawant (SS), Rahul Shewale (SS), Eknath Gaikwad (Congress)
Non-Marathi: Gopal Shetty (BJP), Sanjay Nirupam (Congress), Gurudas Kamat (Congress), Priya Dutt (Congress), Kirit Somaiya (BJP), Milind Deora (Congress)
Elected: four Marathi MPs
In 2019: Out of 12, seven were Marathi candidates.
Marathi: Urmila Matondkar (Congress), Gajanan Kirtikar (SS), Poonam Mahajan (BJP), Sanjay Patil (Congress), Arvind Sawant (SS), Rahul Shewale (SS), Eknath Gaikwad (Congress)
Non-Marathi: Gopal Shetty (BJP), Sanjay Nirupam (Congress), Priya Dutt (Congress), Manoj Kotak (BJP), Milind Deora (Congress)
Elected: four Marathi MPs
In 2024: Out of 12, ten are Marathi candidates.
Marathi: Bhushan Patil (Congress), Amol Kirtikar (SS- UBT), Ravindra Waikar (SS), Ujjwal Nikam (BJP), Varsha Gaikwad (Congress), Arvind Sawant (SS- UBT), Rahul Shewale (SS), Anil Desai (SS-UBT), Yamini Jadhav (SS), Sanjay Patil (SS- UBT)
Non-Marathi: Piyush Goyal (BJP), Mihir Kotecha (BJP)

No of LS seats in Mumbai

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