Around 5:15 pm, the Congress, NCP and RPI Party members, allies in these elections, gathered with gusto in front of Hi-life mall near Santacruz station. The plan was to march in a rally towards Sukhanand, ending at Agripara in Khar. The Bandra West Constituency candidate Asif Zakaria was present in the rally along with Priya Dutt.
On a truck coloured in the Congress hues, was a man asking ‘Achche din kab ayenge’ on loudspeakers. No-one answered him. Women party activists led by Salma Patel took charge on issues like violence against women, hike in prices of vegetables and lynchings that go unnoticed. According to Patel, no religion is superior in the eyes of the Congress, “unlike the BJP which asks for votes on the basis of caste and the Ram Mandir issue. Modi is all about the rich and doesn’t care much about the middle class or the poor”. The women party members raised questions like “What will happen to the people who were affected by the sudden closing of the PMC bank”?
Another prominent Congress party member, Adil Badgujar, said that they are going to focus more on eradicating corruption and giving people back their hard-earned money. “Look what the government has done to Aarey,” he declared, referring to the recent cutting down of thousands of trees at the Aareyt Milk Colony at Goregaon, to build a Metro system car shed, in the face of stiff and sustained action from civilians. If it comes to power, the speaker declared, the Congress Party would take care of environmental issues.
A corporator from the Bandra West Constituency, Zakaria, was also present at the rally. He said, “This rally is to spread awareness and reach out to the masses” since this is the last rally for the Vidhan Sabha elections. The Congress is focusing more on local issues pertaining to each constituency like “uplifting infrastructure and overall development”, he declared, adding, “My aim is to try and make life simpler for the citizens of the area”.
Flourishing party scarves and waving party flags, the throng of people proceed towards their destinations with prominent figures like Zakariya and Dutt mingling with the crowd as one. This was in stark contrast with the other huge rally taking place at Jio Gardens, not too far away, where 100,000 chairs waited for crowds and the high profile speakers till 8 pm.
Written by Journalism students Ananya Endow and Nitya Narasimhan
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