Colourful campaigning at Lokhand

“Lokhand has become important… See how the Chief Minister has felt the need to come here.” This was Santosh, talking to his mother Sarita, during the CM Fadnavis’ visit to Lokhandwala Township, Kandivali East on 12th Feb 2017, to campaign for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections.


Santosh is 18 years old and will be voting for the first time ever, on 21st Feb. He lives in a chawl, with his father, a security guard and mother, a house-helper. He has lived in the area all his life and seen the “development” of the high rises of Lokhandwala Township through these growing-up years. He cannot recall any CM having visited before and dragged his mom to the meeting, to get a glimpse. A couple of his college friends are also in the crowd.

It was an exciting evening for everyone, blocked roads and jammed traffic notwithstanding. The long convoy as the CM left that night was impressive. (Video – courtesy Devalina)

Ward 27 (where Lokhandwala is located) is a women-reserved ward. The ward boundaries have changed since the last elections of 2012 – it was Ward 25, Dammupada, but that time too it was a women’s constituency, with Dr Ajanta Yadav of the Congress having won the seat. The stark difference from 2012 is the presence of BJP and Shiv Sena this time.


So whom will he vote for? “There is still time. In fact, I have to find out who all are the candidates.” His mother is happy he has not spoken too much!  “It is secret ballot.”

Campaigning for the elections ended today. The morning newspapers had full page ads – of BJP, evoking Shivaji on his birth anniversary, and of Shiv Sena, evoking its founding father.

The Lokhandwala main road was busy with campaigners through the day, but it was a catchy signature tune that drew many to their windows. The coordinated orange mass, on bikes and on foot, with a custom-made truck close behind, was unmissable and made a lasting impression… so much that the tune is ringing in my ears tonight!


The Shiv Sena candidate happens to be our neighbour!


Good luck to all the candidates, and may the best woman win!


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