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No formidable candidate to challenge Priya Dutt

The Bharatiya Janata Party had approached Bollywood celebrities like Hema Malini, Raveena Tandon, Nana Patekar, Vinod Khanna, Preity Zinta to contest election against Congress MP from Mumbai North Central constituency Priya Dutt. But all these personalities have turned down BJP’s offer. Thus a question which arises here is which candidate should the saffron party field against her? According to sources, Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar and Fashion Designer Shaina NC are likely to be fielded against Priya Dutt. The MNS is yet to declare their candidate from this constituency. Even the Aam Aadmi Party is finding it difficult to nominate a better candidate against her.

The North-West Lok Sabha constituency was a bastion of Congress. A North Mumbai Central constituency was formed after the delimitation exercise conducted in the year 2009. The following areas exist in the Mumbai North West constituency viz Andheri (W), Andheri (E), Versova and Jogeshwari. Congress MP Sunil Dutt was having strong hold in this constituency.

He had defeated the Shiv Sena candidate Madukar Sarpotdar by a margin of 85,539 votes in the 1999 Lok Sabha election. In the 2004 Lok Sabha election, Shiv Sena fielded Sanjay Nirupam against Sunil Dutt as the former was defeated by 87,000 votes. After Sunil Dutt’s demise his daughter Priya Dutt succeeded him. She contested election against Shiv Sena candidate Sarpotdar and defeated him by 1,72,000. In the year 2009 Priya Dutt managed to win this seat by securing 3,19,352 votes whereas Ram Jethmalani’s son Mahesh Jethmalani secured 1,44,059 and MNS candidate Shilpa Sarpotdar won 1,32,555 votes. There are six assembly seats in this area including four Congress seats and one each for Shiv Sena and NCP.

Hindi speaking people, Muslim’s and Catholic community form a majority of the population in this constituency. Since slum voters vote for Congress hence there is a possibility of Priya Dutt’s victory.

In the last Lok Sabha election Ex-BJP MP Ram Jethmalani’s son Mahesh Jethmahalani had contested election against Priya Dutt. This time around Shaina NC is likely to be issued tickets for contesting election. Last time MNS fielded Shilpa Sarpotdar and this time they are planning to nominate a strong candidate.

Even though the Congress is yet to disclose the list of its candidates but Priya Dutt is likely to be issued tickets from this constituency. In this constituency, the Congress has won four assembly seats while Shiv Sena and NCP have won one assembly seat. The sitting legislatures of this constituency include Krishna Hegde Congress, MLA from Vile Parle, Arif Naseem Khan Congress, MLA from Chandivali, Milind Kamble, NCP, MLA from Kurla, Kripashankar Congress MLA from Kalina, Prakash Sawant, Shiv Sena, MLA from Bandra (E), Baba Siddique, Congress MLA from Bandra (W). The Congress have a good stronghold in this constituency hence there is a possibility that the party will emerge victorious.

2009 Lok Sabha election statistics:

Priya Dutt (Congress) – 3,19,352

Mahesh Jethmalani (BJP) – 1,44,079

Shilpa Sarpotdar (MNS) – 1,32,555

Parvez Khan

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