Breaking the silence over dropping senior BJP leaders, including Cabinet minister Vinod Tawde, from the party’s list for the upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Friday said new people would be given opportunities and older ministers will be handed new responsibilities.
Addressing a joint briefing of Shiv Sena and BJP, Fadnavis said, “New people are being given opportunity and older minsters will be given new responsibility. Shiv Sena will be fighting on 124+2 seats and rest of BJP will contest on the remaining seats.”
Watch BJP-Shiv Sena joint presser
Earlier in the day, the BJP released its fourth list of seven candidates which denied tickets to senior BJP leaders Eknath Khadse, Raj Purohit and Vinod Tawde to contest the October assembly polls. Tawde was representing the Borivali constituency in Mumbai. Former revenue minister Khadse, who turned rebel and filed nomination both as an Independent and a BJP candidate on Tuesday, also didn’t make it to the party’s official list.
When asked if the BJP-Sena combine was trying to send out a message in relation to dropping names of senior BJP leaders, Fadnavis said, “Roles keep changing and some new leaders need to come in. It is a routine thing that the party does every election and they would be given work outside the Assembly.”
Fadnavis said they reached an understanding on the seat-sharing pact, adding that both parties have to compromise at some point and hoped to come to power in Maharashtra with a majority similar to that during the Lok Sabha polls.
“There was doubt in people’s minds if an alliance would be possible, but finally we have come to a seat-sharing pact. People had given us a sweeping majority in the Lok Sabha elections, which resulted in Modi-led government at the Centre and we have decided to take this alliance forward,” Fadnavis said.
The saffron party has so far announced its candidates on 152 assembly seats. Its allies in Maharashtra have announced their candidates on 12 seats who would be contesting on a BJP ticket, while the Shiv Sena has announced its candidates’ list on 124 assembly constituencies in Maharashtra.
Urging people to vote for ‘Mahayuti’ (alliance), Uddhav Thackeray said BJP and Shiv Sena have had issues in the past, however, both parties have managed to sort out their differences to form an alliance which the people want.
“Just like there are certain disagreements between elder and younger brother, Sena and BJP have had issues in the past but we have always sorted out our differences to form a mahayuti which the people in the state want. We will fight these elections on the basis of what the people of Maharashtra want,” Uddhav said while addressing a press conference.
Speaking on Aaditya Thackeray’s first stint in politics, Uddhav said the first step does not translate to becoming the chief minister of the state. “He (Aaditya Thackeray) has just entered politics, this is just the beginning,” Uddhav said.
Meanwhile, Fadnavis exuded confidence in the novice, predicting Aaditya will win by a “very huge” margin and hoped to see him in the state Assembly.
Vouching to work in people’s interest, Fadnavis said the alliance aims to make Maharashtra a drought-free state. “The major focus would be to eradicate the drought situation in the state which has been suffering due to lack of water in the next five years. Our aim is to make Maharashtra, a drought-free state,” he said.