The Mumbai North Lok Sabha seat is one where the Congress was unable to give a fierce fight in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls despite fielding a well-known face. Historically it is among the BJP's strongest seats in the state of Maharashtra, with sitting MP Gopal Shetty who is also a former corporate and multiple-time former MLA, defeating former Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam in the last elections.
This time around, the Congress fielded Bollywood star Urmila Matondkar against Shetty, hoping for a repeat of 2004 when another B-town star, Govinda, had won on a Congress ticket ending a decade-and-a-half of BJP hold over the seat.
After the counting of votes, the fate of Mumbai North Lok Sabha is clear now:
BJP candidate Gopal Shetty has won the Mumbai North seat for the second consecutive year with the margin of 4,65,247 votes.
Actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar said that after her induction into the Congress party, she had faced a lot of criticism but added that ‘she is here to stay’. Shortly after, her election campaign witnessed controversy once more following an attempt to disrupt her Borivali rally, with Urmila Matondkar submitting a police complaint seeking action against a group of men who she claimed were carrying BJP flags.
“Some men gathered with BJP flags and started shouting ‘Modi, Modi’. Initially, we politely asked them to stay aside, but they did not budge. They then started engaging in objectionable actions, which is when Congress workers intervened, leading to a scuffle,” she informed the media after the incident.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party rejected all allegations of Urmila Matondkar and added that people who were chanting pro-Modi slogans were not BJP workers but other locals.
Mumbai North constituency saw a 53.07% voter turnout in the 16th Lok Sabha elections. BJP candidate Gopal Shetty won the seat by a margin of 4,46,582 votes, among the widest margins in the country. Whereas his opponent Sanjay Nirupam concluded with 2,17,422 votes.
Prior to becoming an MP from Mumbai North, Shetty served the BJP in several other capacities. He was a Corporator for three terms; and a two-time Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from the Borivali constituency.