Shiv Sena has expressed surprise over Mukesh Ambani's support to Congress candidate Milind Deora, who is competing for Mumbai South Lok Sabha seat. Deora posted a video yesterday which showed Ambani and top banker Uday Kotak voicing their support for him. In the video, both the corporate bigwigs said that Deora understood Mumbai and was capable of solving its problems.
"This is surprising that Ambani has endorsed Deora, considering the ties he has with Modi," Shiv Sena Spokesperson Manisha Kayande was quoted by Reuters. This attempt to sway the voters with support from industrialists will backfire because common people want a leader who can champion their cause and not that of tycoons," she added.
Mukesh Ambani and PM Narendra Modi hail from the state of Gujarat. The Ambani family is considered to be close to the Prime Minister, and Mukesh Ambani has often praised him publicly. Additionally, the Congress had launched scathing attacks against Mukesh' younger brother, Anil Ambani, over his involvement in the Rafale jet deal.
On the other hand, Shiv Sena has fielded a candidate against Deora after reforming its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharashtra ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Reacting on Mukesh Ambani's endorsement of Milind Deora, Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said it was his personal opinion. "I don't know if he has supported Milind Deora, but our candidate against him is winning," Fadnavis said.
In the video, the Congress leader posted on Twitter, Mukesh Ambani said: "Milind is the man for South Mumbai". "Having represented South Mumbai for ten years I believe that Milind has in-depth knowledge of social, economic and cultural ecosystem of the South Mumbai constituency. Both micro enterprises and large businesses can thrive in Mumbai. So that attractive new employment opportunities can be created for our talented young women and men," Mukesh Ambani could be seen saying in the video.
"Milind truly represents Mumbai ka connection. I genuinely belive Milind understands and relates to a Mumbaikar. His family has been associated with Mumbai for a long time," Uday Kotak said in the video.
In his post, Deora had mentioned that businesses should be brought back to South Mumbai, and providing jobs to the youth should be prioritised. The South Mumbai constituency will go to polls in the fourth phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections on April 29.