News and pics: Rons Bantwal
Daijiworld Media Network - Mumbai (SP)
Mumbai, Oct 5: The candidates having their roots in Coastal Karnataka have a formidable presence in the electoral battle of Maharashtra. In the assembly election scheduled for October 13, several Tulu, Kannada and Konkani-speaking persons, who have etched out a prominent place for themselves in the metro's political scene through hard work and service, have been given party tickets to fight the election, considering their clout and popularity in their respective areas.
Janet Lawrence D'Souza (48), holding B Com., MA and B Ed degrees and working as the principal of Little Flower High School, Ghatkopar (west) in the city, who is a member of All India Congress Committee, president of Mumbai Pradesh Mahila Congress and general secretary of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee and has functioned as the director of Maulana Azad Minorities Financial Development Corporation and is a former member of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's education committee, is the Congress Party candidate from Ghatkopar (west) constituency in the metro. She is the founder of Celine D'Silva Mahila Mahila Mandal, named after her mother, who also was a well known politician. Janet has been working for the cause of women and providing counselling for women suffering from social evils.
Janet is also associated with Lions club International and actively involved with various service activities like eye donation awareness campaign, Jaipur foot distribution, polio surgeries, free cataract operations for senior citizens, etc.
Dominic Sebastian D'Mello has been fielded as a Congress Party candidate from Vasai (west) constituency in the city. Born on September 4, 1964, Dominic is a builder and authorized distributor for various products like Tatasky, World Space Satellite Radio, Tikona Broadband Internet, Pepsico etc. He has worked as the director of Young men’s Catholic Association, member of Manikpur gram panchayat, director and chairman of Manipur Urban Cooperative Credit Society, director of Bassein Catholic Cooperative Bank, president of Vasai Taluka Hotels Association, director of Patsanstha Federation and member of the St Michael Church Manikpur, Vasai (west) church parish council.
His father, Sebastian Pascal D'Mello, was a well-known chartered accountant and his brother, Pyus Sebastian D'Mello is an advocate.
Krishna Hegde (42) is a Congress Party candidate from Vile Parle assembly constituency in the city. He has very good following of the people from all sections of the society in this constituency. Hegde is a member of the MHADA Board since the last three years. He is a young and dynamic party worker with clean image and proven track record. He was closely associated with the late MP, Sunil Dutt, in the capacity of his spokesperson and media manager during the 2004 Lok Sabha election. Later, he worked as the media manager, handling both strategy and day-to-day media activities of MP Priya Dutt. Krishna Hegde was a student leader in the past, and has worked his way up the rungs, having been associated with NSUI and Mumbai Youth Congress, before earning a place in the Mumbai Congress Committee. Hegde, a former student of Mithibai College, where he also was chosen as the college general secretary, is also the spokesperson of Mumbai congress.
He has been handpicked by Priya Dutt to contest the assembly election. He is backed by the rich experiences of having been closely associated with various NGOs and other social service organizations, duly supported by Priya Dutt.
Suresh Shetty, who was elected earlier as MLA, has once again been chosen as the composite candidate of Congress-NCP and RPI, to fight the coming assembly election from Andheri (east) constituency. He has been a veteran Congress leader, well known across the metro. He is also one of the general secretaries of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee.
Shetty, a holder of post-graduate degree in personnel management, has come up the hard way and has made distinct achievements in various fields including academics, and has been a social activist since long. He was the winner of the Best Student Trophy in MMK College in the year 1978 and was the leader of the Bombay University team for the All India Youth Festival held in Jaipur and Hyderabad, and in both the events, the Bombay team was adjusted as the best. He has functioned as the secretary and president of the University Students Council and as senate member of the university for two terms. He was also the general secretary of National Students Union Bombay and in various other organizations. He was the recipient of the National Youth Award given by the then Prime Minister, the late Rajiv Gandhi.
Dolphy D'Souza, B Com, LLB, who is currently the president of Catholic Sabha Mumbai and had earlier served as the national vice-president of All India Catholic Union, is an independent candidate from Malad (west) constituency in the city. He is the son of Valerian D'Souza (Neermarga - Tiliye) and Pauline D' Souza (Moodbidri). He is a human resources consultant, besides being a human rights and social activist. He has been credited with mobilizing over 90,000 people from all walks of life for the 'Sadbhavana Melava' held for communal harmony and peace at Shivaji Park on November 15, 2008. He is the founder member of citizens Initiative for Peace, a forum of over 100 NGOs, and had led an agitation against Gorai SEZ on the outskirts of the city. He is the convener of Jaago Re Nagrik Manch, ex-chairman of Mumbai University Students Council and former senate member of the University of Mumbai.
Gopal C Shetty is another proud gift from coastal Karnataka to Mumbai. He is a former deputy mayor of Mumbai. Shetty, born on January 31, 1954 in a poor family, who lived in slums under deplorable living conditions, will be contesting the assembly elections on a BJP ticket from Borivli constituency. He owns Sainath Engineering Works at Sadhna Industrial Estate, Jogeshwari. At a young age of 13 years, he formed Poisar Yuvak Mandal and worked to improve living conditions of the people. He came in contact with BJP leader Ram Naik, who inspired Shetty to channelize his ideas and energy for the betterment of the local people. He has worked as the secretary of BJP Birivli Mandal and then, as general secretary. He became the corporator of the municipal council twice, in 1992 and 1997. He also was the president of BJP Mandal of Borivli from 1994 1o 1996 and was the recipient of the 'Best Councillor Award' in 1996. He was the leader of the BJP in municipal corporation in 1997 and was the chairman of the Markets and Gardens Committee.
Edwin Britto, a certified interior designer/decorator from the JJ Institute of Arts Mumbai and lecturer at St Xavier's College, Fort in the metro, has spearheaded many social movements and filed various public interest litigations successfully in Bombay High Court. He was instrumental in forcing the closure of a restaurant in the city belonging to an ex-mayor and stopping the work connected with the filling up of two ponds at Satyanagar in Borivli, besides ensuring that several buildings that came up in public places were demolished. He also exposed the slum rehabilitations scams.
He will be fighting the coming election as a candidate of Janatadal (secular) party. Britto, from Yeyyady Bondel in Mangalore, will test his fortunes from Dahisar constituency in the metro.
Jagannath K Shetty, who is from Kaup, Udupi, is a sitting MLA of Maharashtra assembly. He has again been given a ticket to contest from Wadala-Sion constituency this time, from the Congress Party, Nationalist Congress Party and RPI combine.
These people have made the metro their home and worked for the masses here. All of them have risen from the grassroot level, proven their mettle and deservedly been given the tickets. With each passing election, more and more people with their roots in coastal Karnataka are getting recognized and issued tickets by different parties in a city that truly representats national integration, with people willing to work and show their worth, getting opportunities to come up.