PM Modi’s self-goal in Mumbai, roadshow leaves locals fuming

Even as the PM and BJP’s insensitivity was criticised, people wondered why the roadshow was held in a constituency where Gujaratis live in sizeable numbers. The BJP candidate is also a Gujarati, and with the Marathi-Gujarati fault lines showing, the PM rushed in to lend a helping hand to Kotecha, it is being said.

The roadshow may have alienated voters instead, fear local BJP leaders. The six Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai will see polling on Monday, 20 May, with the BJP and Shiv Sena (Shinde) contesting three seats each. The fallout of the botched roadshow, the party fears, may impact the BJP’s chances in the other constituencies in the metropolis too, adversely affecting Union minister Piyush Goyal’s chances in Mumbai North.

NCP (Pawar) chief Sharad Pawar criticised the roadshow in a city like Mumbai on a weekday. Roadshows in Mumbai can be held only in areas like Vasai, but the intention was to mobilise a particular community in a particular constituency, he said.

The situation could have led to stampedes and it was fortunate that another tragedy was averted. Anger in the city is also directed at Union railway minister Ashwani Vaishnav as well as Goyal, a former railway minister. Neither has done anything to improve the frequency of local trains, or ensure that people do not have to travel in compartments packed like sardines. 

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