When contacted, Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said, “The Shiv Sena has called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a villain. Now, does it imply that it is also part of the dirty picture... playing a side role in the BJP.”
Instead, the party has started working on a Plan B if the Sena fails to respond to its offer for a pre-poll alliance in the 2019 Assembly and Parliament elections. It means the possibility of the BJP going to the polls alone also.
“The party will have to tread cautiously as in the past it had dismissed villagers’ protests against the Jaitapur plant as politics. Also, it had argued the nuclear plant would bring in Rs 1 lakh crore investments and boost employment and growth in coastal Konkan,” a former Congress minister said.
DICCI has more than a 100 Dalit and tribal entrepreneurs. The generation-next Dalits and tribals should explore employment opportunities beyond government jobs to bring in real economic empowerment in their community, said Kamble.
The elected members of the state legislature and MPs will reach out to Dalits and tribals to counter the anti-BJP sentiments post the Bhima Koregaon violence and the Supreme Court verdict on the Atrocities Act.
The BJP leaders in Maharashtra believe that “all the agitations that took place, including farmers stir, the Maratha rallies and Samvidhan Diwas, were an outcome of the Pawar-led initiative along with other parties.”
A BJP-Sena pre-poll alliance has gained ground following the Congress-NCP’s decision to contest the elections together. The BJP’s initiative for pre-poll talks with allies, including the Sena, is to consolidate its ‘MahaUti’ (Grand Alliance).
The NCP state unit is keenly watching the exercise in the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee led by Ashok Chavan and the All India Congress Committee general secretary in charge of Maharashtra Mohan Prakash.
Although elections are scheduled in 2019, the process of political permutation and combination has already set in Maharashtra. Individual parties are going out of the way to conduct surveys and access their party's present political standing.