BJP MLA Gopal Shetty is all set to contest the Lok Sabha election from North Mumbai Constituency. Shetty began his political career as a corporator in the year 1992. He is confident of defeating the Congress party. Gopal Shetty spoke about the developmental work undertaken by him in his constituency and the Modi factor in Lok Sabha polls with our correspondent Prakash Jha.
Once North Mumbai constituency was considered as BJP’s bastion but Congress has gained a foothold over hit from last 10 years. So do you think that the BJP will be able to regain its fortress in this general election?
It is true that our party has been performing well since last 10 years but we can’t say that north Mumbai has become Congress party’s bastion. The BJP and Shiv Sena still have a strong foothold in this constituency as we have three assembly leaders and more than 20 corporators. Last time we were defeated by a margin of 5,000 votes. Prior to that Congress had won from this constituency by fielding Govinda who is a popular Bollywood actor. However we are confident that our party will win the election by a bigger margin.
You have held the post of a corporator, BJP Mumbai Unit president, MLA and now you are contesting the Lok Sabha election. Are you confident of faring better in this election?
Definitely, I will emerge victorious in this election as people are coming forward to support me. I have worked for the welfare of people in my constituency and have gained their confidence. Moreover, people are already fed up of Congress hence they will vote for me.
Will the Modi factor play any role in your victory in the Lok Sabha election?
I will secure more votes on account of the Modi factor.
Do you think that your vote margin will decline due to the emergence of Aam Aadmi Party?
AAP might have put up an impressive show in Delhi but the situation is very different in Mumbai. The party can’t split our votes especially in the north Mumbai constituency.
The party has issued ticket to you to contest the Lok Sabha election as there was no able candidate in your constituency?
It is true as when my name was discussed no candidate came forward to demand a ticket to contest election from my constituency. Everyone is aware that I am capable of winning the election. This only goes to show that the party has faith in me.
On which agenda will you be contesting the election this time?
There are several issues but corruption issue will remain on the forefront even though it is a national issue. As far as my constituency is concerned, I have planned to construct a multi-specialty hospital. People have to visit hospitals in the town for undergoing medical treatment due to lack of multi-speciality hospital in the suburbs.
What work have you done in your constituency?
We have installed the statue of national leaders, developed gardens conducting seminars on the anniversary of renowned leaders to make youth aware about it. I have installed the statues of Veer Savarkar, Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Rani Laxmi Bai, Swami Vivekanand. Our party is constructing a sports complex of international standards and it will be named after late Balasaheb Thackeray.
It won’t be easy for the Mahayuti alliance to sweep polls? What is your take about this?
Elections are always tough. We will give a tough fight to Congress and NCP and will emerge victorious.
Earlier the Shiv Sena and BJP have protested against the illegal MCA club in Kandivali. But now both the parties are silent about this issue. Has this issue been put on the backburner?
No. I am planning to file a petition about this issue in the court. The common man must be offered membership of the club at nominal rates. I will continue to fight until justice is done to the common man.
What message would you like to give to the voters of North Mumbai constituency?
People have already seen me working for the development of my constituency. I have successfully implemented the developmental work undertaken by me. I will continue to work for the welfare of the common man.