THE BJP has set its sights on Baramati, the home turf of former Union minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar. At a party event in Pune on Saturday, BJP president Amit Shah and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asked the workers to ensure that they win the seat in the Lok Sabha election.
Urging party members to ensure BJP wins 45 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, Shah said the Baramati seat must be won by the party. “No seat should be represented for 15 years by those who are corrupt. No seat should be won by people who have taken the country backwards or who side with infiltrators,” he said.
Shah was in Pune to address a conference of ‘Shakti Kendras’, or booth-level election managers, in Pune, Baramati and Shirur. Pawar had represented Baramati in the Lok Sabha for decades, before handing over the reins to his daughter Supriya Sule, who won the seat in the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Shah, who spoke for more than 45 minutes, urged party workers to ensure that they reach out to voters as “ambassadors of the good work done by the BJP-led central and state governments”.
On the Ram Temple issue, Shah assured BJP workers that the party will ensure that a grand temple is constructed at the site in Ayodhya. Accusing the Congress and the NCP of trying to create roadblocks in the way of construction of the temple, Shah dared Pawar and state Congress unit chief Ashok Chavan to clarify their stance about the temple.
Shah also spoke about the ongoing National Register of Citizens exercise in Assam and said the BJP was “duty-bound on freeing the country of infiltrators”. “They are like termites eating away at the vitals of the country,” he said. The Centre, he said, “has managed to identify 40 lakh such infiltrators in Assam”, but the Opposition, “instead of applauding the government, was crying foul”. “They claim that they are worried about the human rights of the infiltrators, but what about the human rights of Indians,” he asked.
Dismissing attempts by opposition parties to form an united front against the party, Shah said it would not have any effect on the prospects of the BJP. The alliance leaders were local leaders without any pan-Indian presence, claimed Shah. “Even in their own states, our BJP members have defeated them,” he said.
The alliance of BSP and SP will not have any electoral impact in Uttar Pradesh, said Shah, adding that the BJP will win 73 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Fadnavis, who addressed the booth-level workers earlier, assured Shah that the BJP will win at least 43 of the 48 seats. “The 43rd seat would be that of Baramati,” he said. “In 2014, we had not contested the seat on the lotus symbol, but this time we will not repeat that mistake. This time, we will contest the elections on the lotus symbol and win this seat,” he added.