Piyush Goyal's Road to Parliament: BJP's Star Candidate for Mumbai North | NewsX Exclusive

In a strategic move for the 2024 elections, the BJP has fielded a stalwart of the Modi administration: Piyush Goyal. Goyal, the Union Minister for Commerce and Industry and Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha, is set to make his electoral debut from Mumbai North. Known for his dynamic presence and administrative acumen, Goyal has hit the campaign trail with vigor. His campaign events have drawn large crowds, particularly in the upmarket Lokhandwala complex in Kandivali East. In an exclusive interview with NewsX, Goyal shared his thoughts and experiences on the campaign trail.

Mumbai North is one of the six Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai, the financial capital of the country. Mumbai is home to 21.6 million people, with approximately 9.63 million eligible to vote. Just 60% turned up to vote in the 2019 general elections. Of the total population of the constituency, 6.2% fall under the Scheduled Castes category, while 1.1% come under Scheduled Tribes.

Nearly 86% of the population is Hindu, while 9% is Muslim. The constituency boasts a literacy rate of 80.96%. Mumbai, the city that never sleeps, is the beating heart of India’s growing economic juggernaut. What were once seven distinct islands on the west coast of India have merged into a sprawling megacity that serves as the capital of the state of Maharashtra.

The sitting Member of Parliament is BJP’s Gopal Chinayya Shetty, who is in his second term as Mumbai North’s representative in parliament. He defeated actor and Congress leader Urmila Matondkar by nearly 460,000 votes in 2019, polling a staggering 72.3% of the vote. This year, however, the BJP has put forward a true stalwart of the Modi administration. Piyush Goyal, the Union Minister for Commerce and Industry and the Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha, is all set to make his electoral debut from the Mumbai North constituency in 2024. A saffron wave inundates the streets of Mumbai as Union Minister Piyush Goyal takes to the streets of his constituency amid huge fanfare from the people and the BJP cadre. Before the big show of strength in the upmarket Lokhandwala complex in Kandivali East, Goyal shared his thoughts in an exclusive interview with NewsX.

In an Exclusive interview with NewsX, Vrushali Kadam, Mumbai Chief Bureau, spoke with the Union Minister and candidate for North Mumbai, Mr. Piyush Goyal. Piyush Goyal primarily focused on connecting with constituents, expressing gratitude for their support, and emphasizing empathy towards their struggles, particularly in slum areas. He outlined plans for redevelopment projects to improve living conditions and stressed the importance of implementing new policies for low-income families’ access to quality housing.

Vrushali Kadam asks Union Minister Piyush Goyal, “We are closely following your campaign. You start your day at around 7:30 or 8:00 with a morning walk with people, reaching every nook and corner of this constituency.”

Union Minister Piyush Goyal replied, “Well, it’s great fun because it’s giving me an opportunity to connect with my people. It’s giving me an opportunity to get to know the area and the various characters of the party. I think it’s the duty of every candidate to reach out throughout the constituency, meet the people at least once before the election. Over the last month or so, I’m happy to share that we have connected with almost the entire area. There’s no part of North Mumbai that I have not visited in the last month.”

Kadam noted the overwhelming response Goyal has received: “People from their windows are watching you, trying to capture every glimpse. How does it feel, especially since this is your first time contesting?”

Piyush Goyal answers, “Well, I am indeed grateful to Prime Minister Modi for giving me the opportunity to be out there in the field among the people, getting to know them, and preparing myself for a new innings in the Lok Sabha. It’s a very humbling experience because you see a lot of reality, which encourages you to think of new ideas, how you’re going to work, how you’re going to impact their lives, and what changes you can bring about in the short term and the medium term. My mind is continuously engaged in working out my plans for the future as I go through different parts of North Mumbai.” Goyal expressed his gratitude towards the people of Mumbai for their acceptance and support. He emphasized the need for redevelopment of slums to improve the quality of life for future generations.

Next, Vrushali Kadam asks Mr. Goyal on a lighter note, “Even while we are walking, we are now heading towards a Rath Yatra. I am very eager to have a ride with you in that. We’ve seen how people in different constituencies are so happy to meet you, especially knowing that a top minister of this country is contesting from this particular constituency. What thoughts come to your mind about what needs to change or what needs more focus while you’re walking through the lanes?”

 

“Well, first of all, I am really grateful to the people of Mumbai for accepting me as their own, giving me the love, affection, and adulation that I have received. There are people I see sometimes on the 30th or 40th floor of a building, waving from high up there. Or when I’m in the basti areas, the slum areas, the children with such great excitement, women in large numbers with big smiles on their faces in the hot, humid air—it boosts my spirits. You feel more empathetic towards them, but at the same time, you also realize that there’s a lot to be done so that future generations in these slum areas can get a better quality of life. Modi, in his first chapter on the welfare of the poor, assured that we will make new policies to ensure that all low-income families in the slum areas get good quality homes and can be rehabilitated where they live. By redeveloping slums, you’ll be able to impact their lives,” he stated. Kadam asked about Goyal’s thoughts while walking through the lanes of the constituency. Goyal expressed his gratitude towards the people of Mumbai for their acceptance and support. He emphasized the need for redevelopment of slums to improve the quality of life for future generations.

 

Finally, Vrushali inquires of the cabinet minister, “I’ve noticed your dedication to engaging with individuals from all backgrounds and accommodating those seeking photographs with you. How do you maintain this?”

“That is something we’ve learned as members of the BJP. This party has taught us how to be more responsive to the people. I had the privilege of being groomed by some of the best leaders. I see my own prime minister and my leader, Narendra Modi. He is so warm and affectionate when he’s with the people, touching a chord in every person. That’s a great encouragement for all of us. We learn a lot from Prime Minister Modi. I think that makes us better public representatives, better people, better human beings. We have seen before entering the crowd that so many people want to take a picture with us. As we head towards the rally, people from all alliance partners are there with the common people,” Piyush Goyal remarked. Goyal attributed this to the teachings of the BJP and the influence of Prime Minister Modi.

 

Piyush Goyal stands as a testament to the power of perseverance and the promise of a brighter tomorrow. As he embarks on this momentous journey, all eyes are on Mumbai North, where the destiny of a city and the aspirations of its people converge.

 

WHO IS PIYUSH GOYAL?

Piyush Goyal was born into a political family. His father, Chandrakant Goyal, was a three-time BJP MLA from Matunga, and his mother, Prakash Goyal, served as the Union Minister of Shipping in the Vajpayee administration. His father also served as the National Treasurer of the BJP for nearly two decades. Academically, he consistently achieved top ranks in national exams in law and chartered accountancy. He went on to serve on the boards of SBI and the Bank of Baroda as a government nominee. In a political career spanning over three decades, Piyush Goyal has held several important positions in the BJP, from deputy campaign coordinator in 1991 to a member of the national executive today. He has also held a number of portfolios in both NDA governments, including railways, energy, finance, and commerce and industry, which is his current portfolio in PM Modi’s cabinet.

 

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