Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation goes to the polls Thursday.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan took to the road on Tuesday promising development and good governance in Mumbai on the last day of campaigning. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is going to the polls on Thursday.

“Ours is the face of development,” Mr. Chavan said during his road show in suburban Kalina. “The poor and the working classes have shaped the city. We have a duty towards the city. Secular forces have come together for the first time after 16 years in Mumbai to oust fundamental and casteist forces.”

“Mumbai,” he said, “is ridden with many issues — water, housing, education, health.”

Assures clean administration

Mr. Chavan held out the assurance of a “clean and effective administration.” Appealing to the non-Marathi vote base, he hailed the sentiment of sarva dharma sambhava (all religions are equal).

“All citizens irrespective of religion and community reside in and have [built] Mumbai,” he said.

As Congress-led governments were running the affairs at the Centre and in Maharashtra, an administration by the same party in Mumbai would result in better coordination for carrying out development.

Woos Muslims, poor

In a bid to address the Congress' slum and Muslim voters, Mr. Chavan attended rallies in the Muslim-dominated area of Behrampada and Mahim.

He said the government would take up with the Railways the issue of rehabilitation of people on whose land the slums have come up.

Referring to last year's fire that gutted a large part of the slum, Mr. Chavan reminded the people, “I visited this place when the fire took place. This land belongs to the Railways. We will take up the issue of rehabilitating the slum dwellers with the Railways.”

At Mahim, the Chief Minister drew his campaign to a close by visiting a dargah.


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