For 3rd consecutive time BJP bags Goa, Fadnavis gets a hero’s welcome


Credited as the architect of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s unexpected victory in the Goa Assembly elections, Maharashtra’s Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis was accorded a hero’s welcome, at the party headquarters here on Friday.

Top state BJP leaders, including President Chandrakant Patil, Ashish Shelar, Atul Shah, Atul Bhatkalkar, Prasad Lad, Chandrashekhar Bawankule, legislators, women leaders and other activists broke out in spontaneous dance to the drums playing behind them.

Sweetmeats were distributed to all who joined the revelry amid slogans of “After Goa, Now Maharashtra” renting the air, sounding ominous to the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA).

Fadnavis was received and felicitated with garlands, bouquets and screams of ‘Badhai Ho’ and warm hugs by the party leaders, which he acknowledged with smiles and waving his hands.

However, he appealed for humility in victory and the need to work still harder, starting from tomorrow.

“Now, such a political battle will take place in Mumbai, let’s not sit on our laurels and start work from tomorrow,” Fadnavis said, aiming to capture the country’s biggest and richest civic body BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), from the ruling Shiv Sena.

Giving full credit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the string of victories notched in Thursday’s results for five states, Fadnavis said the effect of ‘Modi Magic’ and the trust reposed by the common masses in him was evident from the results in Manipur, Uttarakhand, Goa and Uttar Pradesh.

“That belief translated into votes and the victory in Goa really belongs to Modijia,” Fadnavis said magnanimously, adding that the party should remain humble in victory.

On the upcoming battle for Mumbai, he said it was not against any party but vowed that “the BJP would free Mumbai (BMC) from corruption”, and after capturing the BMC, “work for the return of BJP with majority in Maharashtra in 2024 elections”.

As all eyes are now on Fadnavis on his ‘Maharashtra Strategy’, leaders like Patil and Bawankule have officially ruled out any immediate plans to topple the MVA government and said their target would be wrest it from the ruling Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress combine with fully majority in 2024.

Taking a swipe at its erstwhile ally and now bitter rival, Fadnavis said that the combined votes of Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party were less than the NOTA votes notched in Goa. Congress won 11 seats there, down from 17 in 2017 elections.

An old Goa hand, after being appointed in-charge for the Assembly polls in January, Fadnavis got down to brass-tacks, invited that state Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and other BJP leaders to Mumbai, and juggled his time between Maharashtra and Goa in the past couple of months.

He addressed more than four dozen political meetings/rallies in the tiny state, a series of small meetings with groups of party leaders and grassroots activists during the run-up to the polls.

At these meetings, micro-level political strategies were chalked out carefully, responsibilities assigned, consistent follow-ups taken and other aspects were fine-tuned which resulted in the BJP’s handsome return to power for the third consecutive time with 20 seats.

This unexpected outcome stunned the Opposition, comprising the MVA allies of which Congress bagged 11 seats, Aam Aadmi Party (2), West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s All India Trinamool Congress (nil), but local parties and independents getting 7 seats in the 40-member Assembly.



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