Friday, July 12, 2024

Eknath Shinde will remain CM, assures Maharashtra BJP chief

Dismissing all speculation on this count, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Maharashtra President Chandrashekhar Bawankule on Thursday asserted that Eknath Shinde will continue as the state Chief Minister for his full term till 2024.

“All these talks of change of guard in the state are baseless and false. He will lead the three-party coalition of BJP-Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party (Ajit Pawar) for the Lok Sabha and the Assembly polls next year,” he said.

Bawankule also denied any “unrest” within the BJP legislators after the NCP split and Ajit Pawar joining the state government of Shinde and BJP’s Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis as a second Deputy CM along with 8 other ministers.

“The 3-party coalition is now a formidable force with Shinde, Fadnavis, and Ajit Pawar joining hands. It has made the alliance a lot stronger and will benefit us in the elections next year,” he said.

To a question, Bawankule said that the NCP split due to its chief Sharad Pawar and not because of the BJP, as claimed in some quarters.

He cited Ajit Pawar’s frequent statements that Sharad Pawar had adopted different stances on various issues and then backtracked abruptly, hence, it was due to the latter’s style of politics that the NCP broke up.

“The BJP had no role to play in (the split) it. It’s high time that Sharad Pawar should introspect instead of blaming the BJP everytime. From what Ajit Pawar said, his uncle did not spare even his family members. It is shocking that he (Sharad Pawar) played politics with the family and his party,” said Bawankule.

He lamented that “a senior and experienced” leader like Ajit Pawar, who served the NCP for nearly 25 years, had to beg for some organisational responsibility.

On predictions that some Shiv Sena MLAs are feeling insecure now and are planning to leave, Bawankule said that Shinde is quite capable of keeping his party intact.

“These leaders had left (Shiv Sena-UBT’s ex-CM) Uddhav Thackeray and reposed their faith in Shinde’s leadership. They are united on the Hindutva plank. So nobody from Shiv Sena will go to join Thackeray again,” said Bawankule.

In a related development, BJP leader Samarjeet Ghatge from Kolhapur today raised a protest against the NCP’s new Minister Hasan Mushrif.

Ghatge and his supporters had aggressively campaigned against Mushrif and exposed his alleged corrupt activities in the past. However, Ghatge said that he will not quit the BJP on this issue but will remain with the party though he has been sounded out by other parties to defect.

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