The Congress and the NCP will have to merge to get the opposition party’s status after the Assembly elections as the BJP-Shiv Sena combine was set to register a record win, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said at a rally on Thursday.
“After the elections, it will become clear that the Congress and NCP have failed to get even 10 per cent of the seats required to attain the opposition party’s status and opposition leader’s post. The BJP-Sena will get a massive 220 seats in these elections,” he said while addressing a rally for three alliance candidates, Laxman Jagtap, Mahesh Landge and Gautam Chabukswar, at Rahatni area of Pimpri-Chinchwad.
The chief minister said the merger issue had been raised by senior Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde, who had recently said the NCP and the Congress will come together.
Taking a swipe at the opposition, Fadnavis said the BJP-Sena alliance didn’t know whom to contest the elections against. “Our wrestlers are ready, but where are the rivals? Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has disappeared to a foreign country while Sharad Pawar has become the jailer of Sholay, with no soldiers behind him,” he said.
Fadnavis said the BJP has tried to ensure justice to Pimpri-Chinchwad in the best possible manner. “Despite Sharad Pawar being a minister at the Centre and Ajit Pawar holding the charge in the state, the NCP had failed to even provide a police commissionerate for Pimpri-Chinchwad during its 15-year rule. But the moment, BJP came to power in the state and PCMC, the police commissionerate was set up,” he said.
Fadnavis said a decision has already been taken regarding regularisaiton of illegal structures and waiver of penalty tax, adding that a final solution will be announced soon.
The chief minister said he was confident that the people of the state will vote overwhelmingly for the ruling alliance. “In the last five years, development has been on top of our agenda. Be it the Jalyukt Shivar yojana, open defecation free-status or loan waiver for farmers, the government has taken several positive steps for the people of the state,” he said.
Fadnavis said he had not come to ask voters to elect candidates. “I am here to ask voters whether they will ensure the victory of candidates by a record margin…,” he said.
Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Fadnavis said, “The PM has a vision and he is determined and committed to ensure all-round development in the country…. today, he is being recognised as the global leader. His recent foreign visit and his speech in front of US President Donald Trump has drawn him a lot of praise”.