The final polling for the seventh phase is due on May 19. Counting of votes for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will take place on May 23. Therefore, the eyes of the entire nation are on the results, which will be declared the same day. After bitter and acrimonious campaigns, all parties and political analysts have also started calculations. The anticipation of possible winners is in full swing. Exit-polls are waiting for the end of the voting process. In the evening of May 19, the picture will be clear, when these Exit-polls will be telecasted.
Mumbai went to polls on April 29 in the fourth phase of elections in Maharashtra. In 2014, riding on the Narendra Modi-wave, the BJP-Shiv Sena combine wrested all six seats in the city. Mumbai had been a traditional stronghold of the Congress. In 2009, the Congress-NCP swept all the seats. The Congress won five seats and NCP one last time. However, in 2014, BJP and Shiv Sena won three seats each. This time the situation is quite tough. There is no Modi-wave and the prospects of the Congress’s come back are bright.
According to confident sources, in Mumbai South constituency, there is neck to neck fight between veteran Shiv Sena leader Arvind Sawant and the Mumbai Congress chief Milind Deora. Arvind Sawant is a strong Trade Union Leader. He has strong support in the area. It is very difficult to defeat him. In 2014, he got 3,74,609 votes, while Milind Deora could manage only 2,45,850 votes. Thus, he defeated Milind Deora over 1.28 lakh votes. However, this time, personalities like the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Mukesh Ambani have extended full support to Milind Deora, he can win from this seat. Similarly, in Mumbai South Central, sitting MP of Shiv Sena Rahul Shewale is facing a tough fight. Veteran Congress leader Eknath Gaikwad may come back from Mumbai South Central seat. In Mumbai North Central, Poonam Mahajan of BJP is facing off Priya Dutt. The Congress’s former MP from this seat can possibly register victory here.
In conversation with Afternoon Voice, Shiv Sena sitting MP Arvind Sawant alike all other contestants claimed his victory. As a seasoned leader, he said, “Arvind Sawant is going to win from Mumbai South.” When asked about the support of Mukesh Ambani to the Congress Candidate Milind Deora, he counter-questioned if Mukesh Ambani had bought people. He said that it is not possible. Let us wait till May 23 for election results and everything will be clear.
Sources say that in Mumbai North East, the prospects of the BJP Corporator Manoj Kotak are better. He is fighting against NCP’s Sanjay Dina Patil, who was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009. Here, due to the strong objection of Shiv Sena, BJP dropped its sitting MP Kirit Somaiya and fielded Manoj Kotak in the fray. In Mumbai North West, the former Mumbai Congress Chief Sanjay Nirupam can possibly defeat sitting Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar. The actor turned politician Urmila Matondkar of the Congress is giving a very tough fight to BJP’s sitting MP Gopal Shetty (BJP) in Mumbai North. After her political debut, Urmila Matondkar faced tremendous trolling and personal attacks over her religion as she got married to a younger Muslim Mohsin Akhtar Mir. According to sources, if the ‘Rangeela’ actress defeats Gopal Shetty, there will be no surprise.
Sanjay Dina Patil of NCP also claimed that he is going to win from Mumbai North East. In absence of Kirit Somaiya in poll fray, he appeared a little tension-free. He said that he is not contesting election to lose. Perhaps, he forgot that in 2014, he had contested and lost the election. Sanjay Dina Patil said, “Don’t be impatient and wait for election results.”
BJP’s sitting MP from Mumbai North Gopal Shetty said, “I am going to win by a large margin of votes, I am confident of the victory. This margin will be bigger than that of last time. When asked by how much votes he expects to defeat his Congress rival Urmila Matondkar, he replied, “For this, wait till May 23.”
It is worth mentioning that in 2009 Milind Deora (Congress) had defeated Mohan Rawale (Shiv Sena) from Mumbai South. Veteran leader Eknath Gaikwad (Congress) defeated Suresh Gambhir (Shiv Sena) from Mumbai South Central. In Mumbai, North Central Priya Dutt (Congress) had defeated Mahesh Jethmalani (BJP). Sanjay Dina Patil (NCP) defeated Kirit Somaiya (BJP) from Mumbai North East. In Mumbai, North West Gurudas Kamat (Congress) defeated Gajanan Kirtikar (Shiv Sena) and in Mumbai, North Sanjay Nirupam (Congress) had defeated Ram Naik (BJP), who is the Governor of UP at present.