Sanjay Nirupam will face a second consecutive loss in Mumbai North West

Mumbai North West is a constituency that had been recast in the 2008 delimitation process. Earlier this constituency included areas like Bandra, Santacruz, Andheri, Jogeshwari etc. but post 2009 it includes newly carved out assembly constituencies like Dindoshi, Goregaon, Jogeshwari East, Versova, Andheri East and Andheri West. In 2009 the voting percentage was 44.1% and Gurudas Kamat of the Congress won by a margin of 5.5% over Gajanan Kirtikar of the Shiv Sena. MNS got over 17.5% votes or 1.24 lakh votes. This was much more than the Congress victory margin of 38,000. MNS was at it’s peak in 2009 with many BJP supporters (Marathi speakers) moving towards it and many others moving to the Congress (Hindi speakers) as a counter reaction. Abu Azmi of the Samajwadi party got over 84,000 votes.

In 2014 the voting percentage increased to 50.4% in the Modi wave that had engulfed the country. Sena’s Gajanan Kirtikar won with a 20% victory margin over Congress’s Gurudas Kamat. MNS had put up famous movie actor and director Mahesh Manjrekar but he got just 7.4% votes (fall of 10% over 2009). In the ensuing Maharashtra assembly polls in 2014, BJP and Shiv Sena won three assembly segments each in the Mumbai North West LS seat. The voting details for LS 2014 was,

Mumbai North West 1

In 2019 the fight is between the sitting MP Gajanan Kirtikar (Sena) and Sanjay Nirupam of the Congress. Sanjay Nirupam shifted to this seat after the untimely demise of Shri Gurudas Kamat. Kamat was a through bred Congressi but had a lot of respect in Mumbai Congress. After his death Congress leaders like “maths specialist” Priyanka Chaturvedi was trying to get the nomination from this seat. But finally Sanjay Nirupam was successful in getting the seat. After a morale shattering drubbing in Mumbai North seat in 2014, Nirupam has chosen to move to this seat which has a high Hindi speaking population.

But the number do not quite add up for Sanjay Nirupam. This constituency has a large Marathi and Gujarati population as well in areas like Dindoshi, Goregaon, Jogeshwari, Andheri East etc.. Also many of the Hindi speaking voters are backing the BJP at this point of time. The 2014 assembly results point that the Shiv Sena will win this seat easily. Let us see the cumulative votes of assembly polls 2014,

Mumbai North West 3

The cumulative votes of Shiv Sena and BJP (65%) were much higher than Congress+NCP+MNS+AIMIM (30%). If we come to the 2017 BMC election, the BJP and Shiv Sena leads were even more as the Congress was relegated to an also ran.

These are the likely factors that would influence the decision of the Mumbai North West Lok Sabha seat in the 2019 general election,

  • My analysis of the Mumbai North West Lok Sabha constituency done in Sep 2018, pointed to a close fight between the BJP and the Shiv Sena with the BJP having an edge.
  • Now with the Shiv Sena BJP alliance in place, the contest is easy for Gajanan Kirtikar. Gajanan Kirtikar is a white collar person who used to work in The Reserve Bank of India and was a member of Sena’s Sthanik Lokashikar Samiti. Though not a very dynamic person but he does not have any controversies around his name.
  • The demographics support NDA in this constituency. Sanjay Nirupam is trying hard to get the support of the Hindi speaking voters and get into the contest but his attempts might not be very successful as these voters love Narendra Modi the most. Hence Sanjay Nirupam’s main support base is the minority voters and the slum voters.
  • Only chance for Sanjay Nirupam is that the BJP voters do not come out to vote for the Sena candidate in huge numbers. Though this might not help Nirupam win, as the NDA majority is huge. But the BJP-Sena poll managers are well advised to send the message across to the voters that if they want Modi as PM, they are better placed in voting for the Shiv Sena.
  • One important factor that could draw the middle class to vote is that they hate Sanjay Nirupam to the core for abusing PM Narendra Modi. If the voting percentage goes above 50% in 2019, then Congress and Sanjay Nirupam would be defeated for sure.
  • The Mumbai North West constituency has four metro lines criss crossing it. The existing Andheri-Versova metro line passes through this constituency. Three other metro routes are being built on the Western Express Highway (WEH), Dahisar – Bandra Link road and Jogeshwari – Vikhroli Link road. Infrastructure projects like these promise easy travel to commuters in Mumbai and improved quality of life. This would help to get Gajanan Kirtikar get additional middle class votes.

In conclusion, while Sanjay Nirupam is trying hard to make this a contest, the victory margin for Gajanan Kirtikar is expected to be around 1.5 lakhs. Whether it will be more or less would be decided by the voting percentage on 29th of April 2019.

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