State BJP president Chandrakant Patil on Monday dared NCP chief Sharad Pawar to go solo in the next state Assembly elections to ascertain how much political support his party enjoys on the ground.
Patil was reacting to Pawar saying on Monday that BJP leaders had approached him and his colleagues for a government in the state last year. He also said that his offer of outside support to the BJP in 2014 to form a government in Maharashtra was a “political ploy” aimed to keep the Shiv Sena away from its then ally. In an interview to Sena mouthpiece Saamana, Pawar on Monday said that he took steps to “widen the distance between BJP and Shiv Sena”.
Speaking to mediapersons, Patil said: “If Congress and NCP had contested separately in the 2019 Assembly polls, NCP would have won just 20 seats and Congress 10.” “BJP is the single largest party in Maharashtra. It had won 105 seats. It knows where it stands and what supports it has among the masses. People voted for BJP as the single largest party in 2019,” he added. “In the next Assembly elections, let all parties – Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena and BJP – contest separately and find out where each stand. The BJP is ready,” said Patil.
While BJP had bagged 105 seats in the last Assembly polls, NCP won 54, Shiv Sena 56 and Congress 44 seats. The independents and smaller parties together won the remaining 29 seats.
“Pawar’s interview in Saamana was an attempt to placate the unrest brewing among MLAs and leaders in Congress, NCP and Sena. It was also an attempt to convey a message to the administration that all was well within the Maha Vikas Aghadi government,” said Patil.
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