Decoding the vote: Mumbai North West

Mumbai North West has a contest between the Shiv Sena’s sitting MP Gajanan Kirtikar and Sanjay Nirupam of the Congress. Sanjay Nirupam migrated to this seat after the savage defeat he received in Mumbai North LS seat in 2014. The Late Gurudas Kamat of the Congress represented Congress on this seat and had won this seat in 2009 and was the runner-up in 2014. The Congress had to search for a new candidate after his sudden demise in the interim period. The claimants for this seat were Sanjay Nirupam and Priyanka Chaturvedi. Nirupam prevailed in the end and was given the ticket. This led to Priyanka Chaturvedi leaving the Congress (though the immediate reason given was different) and joining the Shiv Sena. Perhaps the only party she could join and continue with her anti Modi tirade in the future.

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Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Kirtikar

This constituency covers the assembly constituencies of Dindoshi, Goregaon, Jogeshwari East, Andheri East, Andheri West and Versova. The area has a mixed population of Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi speakers as well as considerable minority population in Jogeshwari, Andheri West and Versova. The BJP and Shiv Sena evenly shared these six assembly segments in Vidhan Sabha 2014 election. The BJP and Shiv Sena were either the winner or runner-up on all seats except Versova, where the Sena candidates nomination form was rejected. See the below attached details of the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha results for the six assembly segments in Mumbai North West,

Mumbai North West 3

The voting percentage in 2019 has seen an increase in Shiv Sena and BJP bastions of Jogeshwari East, Dindoshi and Andheri East. The vote percentage in Versova has not been up to the mark for the Congress. Following are the assembly seat wise voting details for Mumbai North West along with the last four elections,

Mumbai North West LS 2019 Voting Details.jpg

Following factors could influence the result in Mumbai North West Lok Sabha seat in 2019,

  • The quantum of votes polled in the BJP bastions are more than the old Congress bastions of Versova and Andheri West. These assembly seats now have BJP MLAs as well. BJP MLA Ameet Satam in Andheri West is quite popular and this could help the Sena. BJP had won Andheri West and Versova with big margin, even though Shiv Sena was fighting separately in the assembly elections of 2014.
  • Sanjay Nirupam though would be able to attract a lot of Hindi speaking voters especially in the slum and lower middle class areas. His slanging matches with the MNS on the issue of hawkers could help him win votes among this demography.
  • However, ex Cong MLA Rajhans Singh from Dindoshi had joined BJP in 2017. this could help the NDA retain some of the Hindi speaking votes in Dindoshi.
  • Jogeshwari will give a big lead to the Shiv Sena due to the sitting MLA and state minister Ravindra Waikar who has nurtured this constituency.
  • On the other hand, the MNS which is campaigning against the NDA and for the Congress on other seats of Mumbai, are not actively working for Nirupam given the history of acrimony between Raj Thackeray and Nirupam. Thus most of the MNS voters would vote for the Shiv Sena or abstain. Though I am giving 40-50% votes polled by the MNS to the Congress, based on the appeal of Raj Thackeray.
  • Gajanan Kirtikar of the Shiv Sena is above 70 years old and unlike most street smart Sena leaders, he is a white-collared leader who was once working in the Reserve Bank of India. Due to his advanced age, he is not that active on the ground. Nirupam has been trying to take advantage of this fact and this might help him in some lower middle class and slum areas. A younger candidate from the Shiv Sena would have helped them take a bigger lead.
  • The Samajwadi party (SP) is fighting the election on this seat in coalition with the BSP and could cut a decent number of votes from the Congress. This would be a direct loss to Nirupam.
  • There is a certain amount of revulsion among the middle class voters, especially Marathi, Gujarati, Marwari and South Indian voters against Sanjay Nirupam. Many undecided voters from these demographics would have voted for the Late Gurudas Kamat but might not vote for Sanjay Nirupam, given his history of comments in poor taste on various leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The number of valid votes polled in 2014 were approx 8.84 lakh. This time the number of votes polled are 9.39 lakh which means an increase of 55,000 votes. MNS had polled approx 66,000 votes while AAP had garnered approx 52,000 votes in LS 2014. With MNS and AAP not contesting this time, these 1.73 lakh votes will be divided between Shiv Sena and Congress. The split would be skewed in favour of the Shiv Sena.
  • The Shiv Sena victory margin was 1.83 lakh votes in the LS 2014 elections. This would increase marginally this time due to the increased turnout in NDA bastions. Though the victory margin could have been higher had the BJP fought on this seat (just a hypothetical scenario given that this seat was in the Shiv Sena quota from last two terms.
  • Below is my result projection for Mumbai North West Lok Sabha seat for 2019 election. This result is based on the assembly wise voting in last four elections (general and assembly) as well as current trends on the ground.

Mumbai North West LS 2019 Result Prediction

I am projecting a conservative victory margin of 1.95 lakh for Shiv Sena’s Gajanan Kirtikar on the Mumbai North West Lok Sabha seat. In case the intensity of the Modi wave is stronger, the lead could stretch to about 2.5 lakhs as well.

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