Interview | Suresh Mane Maharashtra

People will see a rabbit-tortoise fight in Worli, says NCP candidate Suresh Mane

Suresh Mane   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has fielded Suresh Mane, former head of the Mumbai University’s law department, to take on the Shiv Sena’s Aaditya Thackeray in Worli. Mr. Mane, who calls himself a true Worlikar, is positive that people will connect with him more than the young leader from Bandra. The Hindu chatted with him on the sidelines of the release of his manifesto, which is specifically tailored for Worlikars.

With a dominant Marathi population, Worli has been a Sena stronghold. How do you plan to counter their candidate?

For a long time, Worli has been in a mess. I have noted five important problems such as the BDD Chawl redevelopment, Worli Koliwada and the Coastal Road project. A large section [of the population] does not agree with the way these projects have been laid out, and is against them. So even if it is a Sena stronghold, the social composition and people’s anger over these issues will generate a befitting reply to the party.

In the past five years, what are the changes you have seen in Worli under the Sena rule?

To gauge this, one has to look at an overall picture. The Shiv Sena [is in power] in the municipal corporation, the State and at the Centre as well. The corporation has been an utter failure. You may have heard RJ Malishka’s song (a viral video on potholes) which says it all (laughs). As far as the State government is concerned, they are involved in the BDD chawls, SRA and other projects for which they are facing adverse reactions. At the Centre, projects like the Coastal Road have again got a negative reaction from the public. All this clearly spells out where they stand.

Many NCP members have walked away to join the Sena-BJP. Will the voters have faith in NCP candidates like you?

This has been a scenario not just here, but all over the State. In other words, the BJP has almost become the Congress and the NCP, and has changed the character of the party. But I feel that the people will believe in NCP as the election is fought not just on the basis of the leader, but also on the basis of the cadre. The cadre strength is vital. In Worli, the NCP cadre has not defected. Secondly, the Thackerays have been appealing to people to let him (Aaditya) contest unopposed. But the fact that the NCP leadership decided to field a candidate shows they are serious to contest from Worli. People are going to witness a surprise fight between a khargosh and a kachhua (rabbit and a tortoise) in Worli.

Many leaders and party workers have complained about the attempts to squeeze cash flow to campaigns. Have you faced any such trouble?

I have been running my own party, Bahujan Republican Socialist Party, for five years. Before that, I was the national general secretary of the Bahujan Samaj Party and was in charge of 15 States. I know how to run my own campaign with or without such support. When I can run my party, I am capable of running the election campaign as well.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2021 7:04:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/maharashtra-assembly/people-will-see-a-rabbit-tortoise-fight-in-worli/article29739705.ece

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