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Day after Chandrakant Patil’s meet, Devendra Fadnavis calls on Amit Shah

🔴 The meetings came in the wake of several organisational changes that saw old rivals of Fadnavis being rehabilitated by the central BJP leadership after years of being sidelined by him.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
November 26, 2021 9:29:41 pm
Devendra Fadnavis with Union Home Minister Amit Shah. (Photo: Twitter/@Dev_Fadnavis)

Former Maharashtra chief minister and leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday, a day after BJP state unit president Chandrakant Patil’s meeting with the former party president.

On Friday, the two Maharashtra leaders were closeted together in a marathon meeting with central BJP leaders B L Santhosh, Shiv Prakash and CT Ravi in Delhi.

The meetings came in the wake of several organisational changes that saw old rivals of Fadnavis being rehabilitated by the central BJP leadership after years of being sidelined by him. With no strong allies in Maharashtra, the party is also concerned about its prospects in the civic bodies elections that are due early next year.

On Wednesday, Fadnavis had met Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, stirring speculation that an alliance may be in the offing, a possibility that exists but reportedly does not excite the central leadership.

Speaking to the media, Fadnavis said, “Whenever we are in Delhi we meet Amitji Shah. After all, Amitji is our leader. It is a general practice. So there is no need to attribute any agenda.”

Fadnavis dismissed speculation about a churn in the party due to increased factionalism. “We had a meeting with our leaders B L Santosh, Shiv Prakash, C T Ravi, Chandrakant Patil and myself. We discussed how to consolidate the organisation, the strategy and direction for the future. There was no other agenda in the meeting. I was present for four to five hours in the meeting,” Fadnavis said.

Patil was tight-lipped about his meeting with Shah and the second meeting with other leaders. “Patil apprised the Delhi leaders about political developments in Maharashtra and challenges within the organisation,” a senior party source said.

“B L Santosh is the general secretary (organisation). So when Patil and Fadnavis hold a meeting with him, it has to be significant,” another party source said.

Insiders revealed that one issue weighing on the BJP is the potential for an alliance with MNS. But the party’s anti-outsider agenda could prove to be a burden for the BJP elsewhere at this time. “The BJP is unwilling to make a formal commitment, having a big target to win Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls,” said one source.

According to sources, the BJP leaders during their Delhi visit also discussed with central leaders the strategy for state Legislative Council polls. The party has taken up the criminalisation of politics agenda. Therefore, it was felt it should ensure Council polls are contested without any horse trading or misuse of muscle and money power.

The party took the decision to withdraw its candidate to facilitate Council polls without any contest in Patil’s hometown of Kolhapur, thus paving the way for Congress candidate Satej Patil, a minister in the MVA government. In Mumbai the strategy helped them win one seat of Hansraj Singh, leaving the second to Shiv Sena’s Sunil Shinde. The arrangement was mutually arrived at between the BJP and Sena. However, the party’s effort to get the Congress to withdraw its candidate Chottu Bhoyar against BJP’s Chandrashekhar Bawankule failed.

Fadnavis said, “The Congress believes it will create a miracle. But the fact is Bawankule will win the Nagpur seat in Council polls.”
Earlier, Congress leader Nana Patole reaffirmed, “We want to consent and defeat the BJP.”

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