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South Mumbai's big four fight it out on Thursday as Mumbai goes to polls

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 - 8:37pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna webdesk

The South Mumbai constituency is home to some of India’s richest individuals, 3 of India’s top 10 billionaires live here, contribute a major chunk of India’s tax income and yet South Mumbai lags behind when it comes to infrastructure, development and other growth indicators.

Many roads in the island city have worsened over the years. The Marine Drive stretch once considered the best road in the city today is potholed and almost always sees traffic jams at peak hours. Very recently a portion of the road at Marine Drive entirely caved in. Plans of the Bandra-Worli sealink being extended to Marine Drive, water transport  from town towards the suburbs, and a metro line starting from Colaba among others continue to remain on the drawing board. This has been the case across much of South Mumbai. Besides lagging infrastructure, many redevelopment projects have been stuck in red tape. 

South Mumbai depends on the central government a fair bit. From its security and defence needs, to the building and development rules which are all central government subjects. 

Milind Deora - Milind Deora has been the Congress MP of the South Mumbai constituency for the last 10 years. The third time candidate and son of erstwhile Congress leader Murli Deora has only been seen in the city after the Campa Cola protest when he made his presence felt in the city. Milind who currently serves the Minister for IT has been accused by his opponents of not paying much attention to the needs of the south Mumbai constituency, with no new infrastructure projects coming up in the country’s premier business district. Meera Sanyal has also targeted him for his inaction in preventing a new port from opening up on the land used by the Bombay Port Trust. According to Mumbaivotes.com over the last 5 years, Milind Deora's wealth has grown a whopping 133%

Meera Sanyal - Meera who had contested the 2009 elections as an independent, this year has joined the Aam Aadmi Party and is contesting the elections as an AAP candidate. While making large strides in targeting the minority vote in many areas of South Mumbai and fighting on the plank of corruption, Meera’s message though has been rather confusing as South Mumbai’s incumbent candidate doesn’t face any accusations of graft. Meera was a professional prior to making her political debut. She was the CEO of the Royal Bank of Scotland before quitting to join politics full time.

Bala Nandgaonkar - Maharashtra Navnirman Party's star candidate, in the 2009 he polled the second highest number of votes and is known as a hard worker in his constituency. Besides winning the Shivadi constituency 4 times in the Maharashtra legislature, Bala has also been asking a lot many questions as a legislative member. 

Arvind Samant - A former MTNL Union leader, the Shiv Sena MP candidate is rather suave and has been campaigning on the strength of the ‘Modi wave’. The party which has seen its fortunes sinking after the death of the party supremo Balasaheb is fighting very hard to regain space amongst the voters here. Arvind is also among the oldest candidates fighting the polls from here and may find it an uphill battle to win this seat for Narendra Modi.

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