In the concluding part of my analysis on the assembly seats in Mumbai, I cover the six assembly seats of Mumbai South Lok Sabha seat. This seat once had the full concentration of power in Mumbai, but as population growth has happened in the suburbs, the old city started losing assembly seats and political clout. Mumbai City district now has 10 assembly seats while the Mumbai Suburban district has 26 assembly seats. But these six assembly seats are fascinating about how politics is changing in the city of Mumbai.
Let us analyze the six assembly seats of Mumbai South LS,
1. Worli: The Worli assembly seat is a mix of rich high profile neighbourhoods and lower middle class/ working class areas. The seat was dominated by Sachin Ahir of the NCP at the start of the century. The Sena wrested this seat in 2014 when Sunil Shinde of the Sena defeated Sachin Ahir by a margin of 23,012 votes. Sunil Rane of the BJP (party’s Borivali candidate in 2019) stood third with a creditable 30,849 votes. In this assembly election, the Worli seat has become a high profile seat as Uddhav’s son Aditya is the Sena candidate. Tue Sena cadre is enthused as a “Thackeray” is fighting an election for the first time. Sena went all out to ensure a walkover for Aditya. They poached Sachin Ahir from the NCP. Most of the votes polled by NCP were due to Ahir’s personal connect. NCP candidate Dr. Suresh Mane is not expected to give a stiff challenge. I expect Aditya Thackeray to win this seat by a margin of 70,000-75,000 votes (LS 2019 margin for NDA: 36,154 votes).
2. Shivadi: This area is literally the birth place of many political and social agitations in Mumbai. Girangaon or mill-land may have lost its sheen today but it had a glorious past. Currently this assembly is dominated by the Sena who has been winning it with huge margins. In the 2014 assembly election, Ajay Choudhari of the Sena defeated sitting MLA Bala Nandgaonkar of the MNS by a margin of 41,909 votes. BJP finished a distant third with 21,921 votes. This time the MNS has given a walkover by not fielding Bala Nandgaonkar. The MNS candidate Santosh Nalawade cannot give a fight to the combined NDA. I expect Ajay Choudhari of the Sena to win this seat by a margin of 50,000-55,000 votes (LS 2019 margin for NDA: 49,852 votes).
3. Byculla: This is a seat dominated by Muslim as well as Marathi voters. This seat has changed hands a lot. Underworld don Arun Gawli was the MLA from this seat and Mumbai witnessed him crying on live TV that the govt is preventing him from taking oath as MLA, by posting inspector and encounter specialist (Late) Vijay Salaskar outside the Dagdi chawl. In 2014, five candidates got between 15.9% to 20.3% votes. Waris Pathan of AIMIM won this seat by defeating Madhu Chavan of the BJP by 1,357 votes. Congress, Geeta Gawli of ABS and MNS garnered decent votes, to spoil the chance for the BJP. This time the seat has passed on to the Sena and Yamini Jadhav is contesting on bow and arrow symbol. The main contest is between her and Waris Pathan. The Sena’s success depends on Congress and Muslim League (IUML) eating Muslim votes. The bearbug for the Sena is Geeta Gawli of the ABS who has a following in Dagdi chawl area. MNS is not fighting the election this time. The joker Ajaz Khan (actor) is contesting as an independent. In LS 2019, Milind Deora got a lead of 28,675 votes in the absence of AIMIM. I predict a tight race in which Yamini Jadhav of the Sena would win this seat by a small margin of 3,000-8,000 votes (LS 2019 lead for UPA: 28,675 votes).
4. Malabar Hill: The richest assembly constituency in Mumbai is dominated by Gujarati and Marwari voters, with a fair number of Marathi and Muslim voters. Mangalprabhat Lodha, famous real estate developer and now president of Mumbai BJP has a strong influence over this seat. Now with an enhanced stature, the fight has become easy for him. In the 2014 assembly election, Lodha defeated Arvind Dudhwadkar of the Sena by a whopping margin of 68,686 votes. The Congress was a distant third. This time with a united NDA, Lodha might break the record for his victory margin of last time. Heera Devasi of the Congress is simply not in the contest. I predict Lodha to win by big margin of 75,000-80,000 votes (LS 2019 margin for NDA: 58,569 votes).
5. Mumbadevi: This is a Muslim dominated seat which has been won by Amin Patel of the Congress since 2009. Amin Patel has a good performance record as a MLA. Patel defeated Atul Shah of the BJP by 8,513 votes in 2014. The addition of Congress+ AIMIM votes is higher than the addition of Sena+BJP votes. So the result depends on how many Congress votes AIMIM cuts this time, especially as they have a strong candidate in the form of Bashir Patel (ex-NCP MLA from erstwhile Umerkhadi assembly seat). Milind Deora had a big lead of 33,869 votes in LS 2019 from this assembly seat. Thus, Amin Patel has an upper hand over Pandurang Sakpal of the Sena this time. I predict that Amin Patel of the Congress will win by a margin of 10,000-15,000 votes (LS 2019 margin for UPA: 33,869 votes).
6. Colaba: The Colaba seat used to be a Congress stronghold and even defied the 1995 post riot wave election in Mumbai. Congress has had MLAs like Marzaban Patrawala, Ashok Dhatrak and Annie Shekhar in the past. Raj Purohit of the BJP won this seat for the first time for his party in 2014, when he defeated Pandurang Sakpal of the Sena and Annie Shekhar of the Congress. The BJP and Sena combined vote percentage was 69.5%. In a shocking move, the BJP dropped Raj Purohit for turncoat Rahul Narvekar. The brother and sister in law of Rahul Narvekar are corporators from this area. This helped him get the nomination. His opponent is veteran worker union leader Bhai Jagtap of the Congress. Jagtap used to be the MLA from Khetwadi before his seat was lost in the delimitation process. It remains to be seen how hard the Sena cadre works for Narvekar. I predict Rahul Narvekar of the BJP to win by a margin of 25,000-30,000 votes (LS 2019 margin for NDA: 18,137 votes).
In conclusion, the NDA would easily win four assembly seats while the Congress will win the Mumbadevi seat. Sena may clinch Byculla seat in a tough fight and make it five seats for the NDA.