Mumbai and parts of the neighbouring Palghar, Thane and Raigad districts of the coastal Konkan belt are home to over 40 lakh North Indians, mainly from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Most of the migrants to Mumbai are from UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and Bangladesh. North Indians play a major role in the economy of Mumbai and its suburbs and they have a say in politics,” said Mumbai-based political analyst, journalist and poet Omprakash Tiwari. “Political parties cannot take North Indians casually.”
Of the total 17 lakh population in the Mumbai North-West constituency, more than 3.62 lakh residents are north Indians. Besides, the constituency is home to 6.06 lakh Maharashtrians, 3.34 lakh Muslims, 1.9 lakh Gujaratis and Rajasthan, 1.2 lakh south Indians and 85,000 from other communities. Uttar Pradesh tops the list of migrants to Maharashtra and Mumbai.
D P Singh, professor and associate dean of the School of Research Methodology, Tata Institute of Social Sciences said, “huge populations from Uttar Pradesh are up because of the prospects available in the state. Again, migration from Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka has seen an increase, but one observes more women than men, mostly moving because of marital reasons.”
Till today Raj Thackrey was talking against Yogi Adityanath calling him a criminal and inefficient leader, he also ran a campaign against BJP but flopped for a lifetime. Now Raj Thackeray praised the Yogi Adityanath government for removing loudspeakers from mosques and other places of worship and announced that he would visit Ayodhya in June, but people here are not taking him seriously.
The BJP is also stepping up its outreach to the broader north Indian community in Mumbai, starting with a corner meeting in Goregaon on May 15. This is the first BMC election the BJP is contesting after the Shiv Sena parted ways with it as an ally and the saffron party is no more restrained by its former ally’s Marathi Manoos or son-of-the-soil agenda. Though the two developments are not directly linked, the BJP sees them as part of a bigger political arc. A BJP leader said the UP-government office could help limit the damage done by its MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh with his comments on Thackeray and also help the party consolidate UP migrant votes in Mumbai. Civic polls in the city are scheduled to be held in the coming months.
Comprising around 40 lakhs of Mumbai’s estimated 1.5 crore population, north Indians play a decisive role in its politics. They are employed across the board in the financial Capital, from service sectors to jobs requiring manual labour. Of the 227 wards in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), north Indians are believed to be in a majority in 50 and have a significant presence in 40-45 wards more. For the BJP, Raj Thackeray is key to unseating the Sena from the BMC. In recent months, BJP leaders in Maharashtra have been spotted with the MNS chief on various occasions, but the party has refused to comment on the possibility of an alliance.
Raj Thackery’s failed Political career is on the verge of closure of sorts. Ever since MNS came into existence his flip flop love for Mr Modi (not BJP) has hit headlines time and again. There are several such ‘baseless’ leaders who try to hit a ‘No Ball for a six’. Interestingly Raj’s current Anti-Muslim agenda has harmed more Hindus in turn. His cry to bring Loudspeakers down from a few hundred Mosques has led to bringing ‘the same’ down from thousands of Temples including Mathura, and Ayodhya. Largely BJP grassroots worker is annoyed by this new political tangent which is not the Sangh style and is bound to harm the BJP vote gaining ability. The top BJP brass may not show their annoyance with Raj, as these short-term disturbances help the Modi govt to hide the government’s ever-continuing failures, for a short duration, however, in the long run, they shall bin the hard stand adopted by the separated Thackeray who is desperately searching Political foothold only ‘by crook and no hook’,” said Nishant Verma, political analyst.
NAI president Vipin Gaur said, “Thackeray is known for his hostility towards North Indians, especially those living in Mumbai, and spreading fear among them. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray said several times that the North Indians do not have any self-respect. He said North Indians should ask their ministers why employment wasn’t being generated in their own states. All of sudden holding the flag of Hindutva will not fetch him anything but BJP votes may get a dent.”