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Lok Sabha elections 2024: Why the roadshow must go on

Updated on: 16 May,2024 06:53 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Dharmendra Jore |

Needing to win every seat in city, BJP doesn’t compromise with electioneering, irks Oppn

Lok Sabha elections 2024: Why the roadshow must go on

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his road show at Ghatkopar, on Wednesday. Pic/Sameer Markande

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Lok Sabha elections 2024: Why the roadshow must go on

Dharmendra JoreThe Opposition said it was inappropriate for PM Narendra Modi to hold a roadshow in Ghatkopar where 14 innocent people had died only two days ago under an unauthorised billboard that collapsed during the dust storm on May 13. The BJP responded saying that the roadshow was confirmed by the PM some 10 days ago and he did no wrong in reaching out to the people, meeting them and seeking their support in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

“Yes, we are sensitive and we share the grief of families who have lost their members in the billboard tragedy. We have demanded an inquiry into it,” said BJP's state president Chandrashekhar Bawankule, while responding to Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut's criticism.

Why was a roadshow required in the constituency where the BJP is contesting to retain it? People in the BJP said that each of the six NDA contestants had asked for the PM's roadshow in his constituency, but the planners restricted it to Mumbai North East where the party needed it most for obvious reasons. Ghatkopar is politically dominated by BJP's core supporters Gujaratis, who have represented BJP in the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha from here.

This election, a Gujarati fresher, Mihir Kotecha is up against a seasoned politician, ex-MP Sanjay Dina Patil (Sena-UBT). Patil, who has contested here since 2009, has been boosted by the Opposition unity. 
Between 1984 and 2009, Mumbai North East didn't elect the same party in back-to-back elections. But the Modi wave changed the trend in 2019 with BJP's consecutive two victories. The BJP had dropped sitting MP Kirit Somaiya in 2019. It replaced the last winner Manoj Kotak with Mihir Kotecha in 2024.

BJP expected the PM's roadshow, a dazzling mega spectacle, to have an impact on the city's all six constituencies that have been shared equally with Shinde Sena. Modi will return to the city on Friday, May 17 appeal to Mumbaikars to repeat the 2014-2019 show in which the then NDA partners had won all six seats.

Dharmendra Jore is political editor, mid-day. He tweets @dharmendrajore
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