BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday said that the party would work in each and every seat in the state with the aim of getting beyond the half-way mark of 145, or even crossing the 200 mark, in the state assembly of 288 seats. He has ruled out mid-term polls, implying that the mammoth preparations being made were for the October 2019 assembly elections. During an interaction with the media at the party office in Dadar, Shah said, “Yes, we are working on each and every seat to consolidate our electoral base across Maharashtra.” He did not comment on the role of alliance partners in the next elections.
The BJP with 122 seats has formed the government with the help of the Shiv Sena, which has 63 seats. The party has set a target of 200-plus seats in a house of 288 in the next elections.
This means it will have to work in constituencies held by the Shiv Sena, Congress, NCP and smaller parties. Underplaying ally Shiv Sena’s conflict with the BJP in the coalition, Shah ruled out mid-term polls. He said, “The Maharashtra government, under the leadership of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, will complete its full five-year tenure.” The assembly elections in Maharashtra would be held as per schedule in October 2019, he added.
Shah said, “The BJP has cordial relations with all alliance partners. I don’t perceive it as a headache.”
In the last two days, Shah, through a series of meetings with state unit officials, cabinet ministers and organisational cells, reviewed the work and discussed the shortcomings that needed to be worked out. Ministers who showed poor performance were told to focus on their work.
Commenting on the farmers’ strike and loan waiver, he complimented the chief minister for tackling the agrarian crisis well. He said, “Loan waiver is the discretion of state governments. I am sure the chief minister has considered all aspects and taken the loan waiver decision.” Earlier, Shah outlined the achievements of the Narendra Modi government’s three years at the Centre.
He spelt out several policy measures of the Centre and said, “By May 26, 2018, there will not be a single village without electricity.”