Congress candidate Milind Deora is trailing against Shiv Sena's Arvind Sawant from the South Mumbai Lok Sabha seat, according to early trends. The election for this high-profile seat was held on April 29. After facing a stern defeat in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress had this time fielded Deora against Shiv Sena's sitting MP Arvind Sawant. Congress claims this time's election was not the same as 2014. As per the party, Sawant had won the seat on the back of the Modi wave in 2014, and that the election in 2019 was fought on the basis of issues.
The Congress says it has done extensive poll campaigning to ensure Milind wrest the seat from Sawant this time. He has promised jobs, and infrastructure for the industrial city. He has also vowed to address the issues of small businessmen hit by demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax. He even roped in who's who of the corporate world, including RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani and Kotak Mahindra Bank promoter Uday Kotak, to support his candidature.
In over 2 minute video released by Deora, Kotak said Milind Deora's "family has been associated with Mumbai for a long time...Milind truly represents Mumbai ka connection". Mukesh Ambani, following the family tradition of supporting the Deora family, said: "Having represented South Mumbai for 10 years, I believe that Milind has in-depth knowledge of social, economic and cultural ecosystem of the constituency." Ambani's father Dhirubhai Ambani had also supported Milind's father and former Union minister Murli Deora in the 1990s. Ambani's gesture was merely seen as a continuation of support to their family friends.
Arvind Ganpat Sawant had won the last Lok Sabha election 2014 by over 1.28 lakh votes. He had initially started his political career as a trade union leader and a social worker. He later won the Maharashtra legislative council polls in 1996 and 2004. Sawant was instrumental in fighting for the cause of MTNL employees in Maharashtra. Milind Deora, who was recently appointed Mumbai Congress chief, this time hopes to cash in on troubles faced by traders and small businesses during demonetisation and poor implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).