The BJP on Monday elected senior leader Raosaheb Danve as the state unit president for three more years, till 2019, and foremost on his list would be negating conflicts between the party and the government.
Danve will have the challenge of clipping the growing unrest within the organisation as aspirations of members seeking greater role in power share in the ruling party multiplies. On the other hand, he will have to ensure conduct of the BJP does not mar equations with alliance partner Shiv Sena which has provided stability to the government in Maharashtra. At the same time, there will be a lot of pressure to consolidate the organisation.
Although Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis remains the party’s mascot in Maharashtra, Danve’s work would be gauged from how he bridges differences within the government and the organisation.
Danve (60) hails from rural Maharashtra and represents the Maratha community. The senior member of parliament was elected from Jalna Lok Sabha constituency in Marathwada.
According to Fadnavis, “the organisation is integral in establishing connect between the government and people’.’ Whether it is relief work for drought hit farmers, or water conservation work, organisation is the mainstay of the government, he believes.
A year ago, when all front rung leaders of the organisation joined the government, there was a big question mark on who would hold the reins of the organisation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah decided to send Danve to take charge of the state BJP, Fadnavis said.
Fadnavis, after leading the party in the state to electoral success in 2014 assembly and Lok Sabha elections, became the chief minister of Maharashtra on October 31, 2014. Danve was appointed to complete the remaining one year tenure as state BJP president which came to an end on January 6, 2016. Taking the cue from the Centre which has decided to continue with Amit Shah as BJP president in Delhi, state BJP leaders with a few exceptions gave consent for Danve to continue as the state unit head.
Acknowledging new challenges ahead, Danve said, “I will bridge the differences between the party and government. The organisation can play an effective role in taking the good work of the government to people in remote villages.”
“There are 286 schemes of the government which need to reach the last person. Whether food security Act or drought mitigation and water conservation projects, we will have to work together.”
However, senior BJP functionaries revealed, “Danve’s interim tenure (post Fadnavis) of one year was lacklustre.” Now, with three years tenure, his work would be closely monitored by the Centre on whether he succeeds to strike a chord at the grass roots. Which means Danve, despite support from top leaders at the centre and state, will have to work to get his own acceptance within the organisation.