Lok Sabha Election 2019

In Mumbai North West, it’s rath yatra vs. padyatra

Gajanan Kirtikar gesutres to the crowd during a rath yatra in Andheri (West).

Gajanan Kirtikar gesutres to the crowd during a rath yatra in Andheri (West).  

Two distinct styles have emerged in the election campaign in the Mumbai North West constituency in the past two days — while the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Gajanan Kirtikar has been holding rath yatras, Sanjay Nirupam of the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combine has been canvassing through padyatras.

On Wednesday and Thursday, both candidates campaigned in the Dindoshi and Andheri (East) Assembly segments, respectively.

Senior Sena leader and MLC Anil Parab said the choice to have rath yatras for Mr. Kirtikar’s campaign was to reach the length and breadth of the constituency. “Padyatras and door-to-door meetings are doable for State and corporation-level elections. These are conducted by our local corporators, MLAs and shakha leaders after each rath yatra,” Mr. Parab said.

He said the Sena-BJP had won all six State seats in the last Assembly polls and represent 36 of the 42 municipal seats that make up Mumbai North West, a support that the Opposition lacked.

Sanjay Nirupam waves to supporters during a padyatra in Dindoshi.

Sanjay Nirupam waves to supporters during a padyatra in Dindoshi.  

Mr. Nirupam’s team, meanwhile, said the strategy is to reach every gully in the constituency and conduct meetings at each location. “Mr. Kirtikar is not conducting padyatras because he is physically unable to do so due to his age. Moreover, while campaigning on foot, Mr. Nirupam is able to reach areas that vehicles cannot hope to, and it also sends the message that he’s more accessible as a candidate,” a source close to the Congress leader said.

Mr. Parab said after the rath yatras, a series of corner meetings have been organised with different groups, such as trade federations, where Mr. Kiritikar will interact about area- or industry-specific issues.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 1:05:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/in-mumbai-north-west-its-rath-yatra-vs-padyatra/article26811213.ece

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