Mumbai: The beleaguered Congress received an unexpected boost as industrialists Mukesh Ambani and Uday Kotak pledged their support to party nominee Milind Deora in the Mumbai South constituency.
Mr Deora is engaged in a fierce battle with Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant in the Mumbai South seat.
In a video shared by Mr Deora, a former Union minister, on his Twitter page, Mr Ambani says “Milind is the man for South Mumbai,” while Mr Kotak praised the Mumbai Congress chief for “truly representing the Mumbai connection.” Mr Deora said he was ‘humbled’ by the support from Mr Ambani, Mr Kotak and also other small businessmen and traders.
In his testimony, Mr 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 South Mumbai.” He also affirmed that under Mr Deora’s leadership small and big enterprises would flourish in South Mumbai.
Supporting the Congress nominee, Mr Kotak said, “Milind is truly Mumbai ka Connection. I genuinely believe Milind understands South Mumbai. His family is associated with Mumbai for a long time.”
The video also features small entrepreneurs and traders praising and backing Mr Deora. Mr Deora said he was ‘humbled’ by the support from Mr Ambani, Mr Kotak and also other small businessmen and traders. “I’m very proud. I’m equally proud that I’m being endorsed by paanwalas, small traders,” he said.
“In the last five years, industry and trade which is an integral part of the spirit of Mumbai lost its voice in the Parliament. I am humbled by the support given by stalwarts like Shri Ambani and Shri Kotak,” the statement quoted Mr Deora saying.
He also assured he would strive for the creation of a business-friendly environment that facilitates jobs and brings prosperity. The backing of Mr Ambani and Mr Kotak to the Congress leader comes at a time when the party has been trying hard to regain its feet in the city.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combine had lost all six seats to the Shiv Sena, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance.