Friday, March 03, 2017

Mumbai’s Catholic community moving away from Congress

The Brihan Mumbai Corporation election results suggest that the Catholic community, longtime Congress loyalists, are drifting away from the party.

The suburbs of Bandra, Khar and Santacruz, a traditional Christian-East Indian borough known for its staunch support to the Congress, elected only two corporators from the party this time. 

In the 2012 civic polls, seven of the 17 seats in the two wards – H west and H east – were with Congress.
The two Congress candidates who managed to withstand the BJP-Sena onslaught were Asif Zakaria in Hill Road-Perry Road and Tulip Miranda in Vakola-Kalina. 

While sitting corporator Karen D'Mello lost to BJP's Swapna Mhatre, former corporator Kavita Rodrigues lost to Mumtaz Khan, an Independent and wife of a former corporator.

BJP had already made strong inroads into the area in the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls with Poonam Mahajan defeating two-time Congress MP Priya Dutt and Ashish Shelar defeating Baba Siddique; the trend seems to hold.

Surprisingly, Zakaria won despite BJP playing the community card by fielding local activist Deryk Talker. Zakaria said citizens in the ward had seen his work. "It's people's verdict...I will continue to work in their interests," he said.

But in parts of Borivali like IC Colony, which has a substantial Catholic population, Sena retained its hold. Former MLA Vinod Ghosalkar's daughter-in-law Tejasvee Ghosalkar won from the area.

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