Arvind Sawant, Mumbai South: ‘Aapla manoos’ rides high on rhetoric

16TH LOK SABHA MP PROFILES: ARVIND SAWANT, MUMBAI SOUTH

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Mumbai South is geared up for a tense face-off between two contestants — sitting Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant and Congress chief Milind Deora. Arvind Sawant, first-time winner from the Shiv Sena in this constituency, banks on his ‘son-of-the-soil’ image. His main campaign slogan is ‘Gully te Dilli, Aapla Manoos (gully to Delhi, our man).

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Of the 148,58,44 electors in the constituency, 7,79,741 voters, or 52.49% of the electors, turned up to vote at 1,549 polling stations in 2014. Of these, Arvind Sawant got 3,74,609, or 48.04% of the votes. He defeated Milind Deora, who got 2,46,045 or 31.55% of the vote share.

Profile

  • Name: Arvind Ganpat Pandurang Sawant
  • Age: 68 years
  • Constituency: Mumbai South
  • Party: Shiv Sena
  • Term: 2014 – Present
  • Educational Qualifications: Jr B.Sc, Mumbai from Bhavan’s College, Mumbai
  • Profession: Social worker and trade unionist
  • Permanent Address: 3/87, Mithibai Building, Aacharya Donde Marg, Sewree, Mumbai – 400015
  • Tel: 022 – 24163600, 09869004488 (M)
  • Present address: 702, Narmada Apartment, DR. B.D. Marg,NewDelhi-110001
  • Current Tel: 09969004488 (M)
  • Email: arvind.sawant@sansad.nic.in, arvindsawantg@gmail.com
  • Books Published: ‘Balkadu’ or compilation of speeches in Maharastra Legislative Council
  • Artistic accomplishments: Strong supporter of art, literature and drama, took projects through Marathi Literary Board

Source: Lok Sabha

Online presence:

Criminal cases

Arvind Sawant has one criminal case pending against him. However, while cognizance has been taken, no charges have been filed. There are no cases for conviction, nor has any appeal for revision been filed.

Case Number 256/PW/2018 was filed at the 25th Metropolitan Magistrate at Sewree. An FIR No. 163/2003 was filed at Shivaji Park Police Station and Case No. 27/PS/2005 was filed at 5th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court at Bhilwada, Dadar Mumbai. They involved Sections 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 149, 332, 341, 353, 427 of I.P.C. It also involved Section 37 (3), 135 of Maharashtra Police Act and Section 3 (l) of Prevention of Defacement of Government property.

The case was filed with reference to a thousand persons forming unlawful assembly at Dadar Police Station, damaging flower pots, curtains, furniture, machinery and deterring the police from performing their duties in the early 2000s.

Assets and Liabilities

Year Assets Liabilities
2019 Rs 2,71,81,577

Movable Rs 2,40,81,577

Immovable Rs 31,00,000

Nil
2014 Rs 1,30,67,446

Movable: Rs 1,05,17,446

Immovable: Rs 25,50,000

Nil

(Sources: MyNeta, ECI)

In the past five years, Arvind Sawant’s assets increased by Rs 1,41,14,131, or 108 %.

Positions Held

1996 – 2010: Member, Maharashtra Legislative Council

In the 16th Lok Sabha (2014-2019):

Aug. 2014 onwards: Member, Estimates Committee
Sept 2014 onwards: Member, Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas
Sept 2014 onwards: Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
3 July 2015: Member, Sub Committee-II, Committee on Estimates

Additional positions:

President (i) Mahanagar Telephone Kamgar Sangh for the past 25 years (ii) Maharashtra State Transport Kamgar Sena (iii) MTNL Sthaniya Lokdhikar Samittee (i) Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Trade Union (ii) Employees of State Transport; Trustee, Shivaji Trust.

He was awarded Best Orator by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association for speaking in the Maharashtra Legislative Council.

Source: India.gov.in, Lok Sabha

Performance in parliament

Sawant’s attendance and participation in debates is much above the state and national average. His record shows 100 per cent attendance in all except two sessions since 2014. Only once in 2017, his attendance was 86%, while in the monsoon session of 2018, his attendance was 94%.

MP Attendance No. of debates No. of questions asked Private Members’ Bill
Arvind Sawant 98% 287 480 1
National average 80% 67.1 293 2.3
Karnataka average 78% 68.6 607 4.8

Source: PRS Legislative Research

In 2017, he introduced one private member’s bill on ‘The Designation of States As Sponsor of Terrorism Bill, 2017′. However, the Bill is still pending.

Arvind Sawant has participated in 287 debates in parliament, including many on issues related to the state and his constituency.

Some of the key debates that he participated in relate to the issues below:

Arvind Sawant has asked 480 questions in Parliament, which is significantly higher than the national average of 293 questions. However, it is also significantly lower than the state average of 607 questions.

The complete list of debates he participated in and questions he asked, is available here.

MP in the news

Arvind Sawant rode on the 2014 Modi wave, but he might not make it so readily to the top this time, even though he is banking on the “son of the soil” factor. The mainstream media does not seem to have covered his developmental work, but his claims of having put in a lot of effort and achieved much is mentioned in social media as well as in interviews.

In a recent interview, Arvind Sawant listed some of his achievements, including getting Parliamentary approval for a long-pending coastal road project, assuring hutment dwellers on Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) area of rehabilitation, resolving work on the development of the East Coast as an international hub, which he feels is his “biggest achievement”. Getting timely financial aid for the city when GST was imposed and getting better amenities for the suburban railways are other contributions, he claimed.

As President of MTNL, he tried to introduce VRS for employees. He was actually reported to be “welcoming” the news that the Centre would not bail the employees.

Known for his candid statements, Sawant hit the headlines several times for the demands or voice raised in Parliament, for example when he demanded an urgent law for construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, or when he attacked the ruling dispensation for unplanned, flawed implementation of demonetisation.

MPLAD Funds

Arvind Sawant is certainly vocal about various ‘achievements’ that he claims he has completed. In an interview, he listed what he has done with his MPLAD funds:

  • Built gymnasiums at Colaba police station
  • Gave MRA police station and JJ Hospital “best” class equipment
  • Constructed “best” public toilets at Machi bazaars and Colaba Koliwada as well as commodes with tanks for elderly and pregnant women
  • Put up small community halls and stages for locals
  • Laid out a children’s park in the PDP garden with a “one-of-a-kind” theme park
  • Gave cardiac ambulance to JJ Hospital, which cost Rs 55 lakh, about which he commented: “and let me tell you no MP has ever done it”.
  • Helped to fast track work on Curry Road foot overbridge
  • Installed chairs at Mumbai Central station, so that “passengers do not have to sit down on the ground”

However, examination of the expenditure on his MPLADs works monitoring page, shows that he recommended 30 schemes, but no implementation, administrative sanction or utilisation was undertaken by the respective departments. The schemes mentioned include sanitation and public health, multi-gym facilities, water tankers, hand pumps, public toilets, bathrooms, roads and footpaths.

Hence, there is a discrepancy between the records and the claims he makes in his interview.

Recommended amount

Rs 2,04,75,009.92

Sanctioned amount

Zero (or not updated on website)

Utilisation amount

Zero (or not uploaded on website)

Source: Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation, GOI


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About Revathi Siva Kumar 45 Articles
Revathi Siva Kumar is a freelance writer based out of Bangalore.