BJP in panic mode over 2019 Maharashtra poll: Congress

Sangli: Four years on, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has been quite successfull in running Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in state. But even after maintaining his clean image among people, the opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) succeeded to change the perception about the government as failure and corrupt among people.  Going by the response received at the Jan Sangharsh rally led by the Congress it can only be described as people showing unrest against the ruling government.

According to political observer, this is nothing but slow poison against ruling BJP and Shiv Sena and it may be a threat to them in 2019 poll. Ashok Chavan, president of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) in a bitter language criticised Fadnavis for his decision of not going to Sangli for civic poll campaign. Chavan said, “If CM could hide and did not face the unrest among Maratha community, he has no right to remain as CM of the state.”

Due to threat from Maratha community, Fadnavis had skipped poll campaign in Sangli civic poll last month.  Pradesh Congress led by Chavan is rallying around the Western Maharashtra with Jan Sangharsh Yatra from August 31. Till date, the yatra passed through Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara district. Chavan and other leaders addressed at least six public rallies at Kolhapur, Sangli, Narsobawadi near Shirur home village of Raju Shetti, Karad and Satara.

A senior Congress leader, on condition of anonymity, said, “It’s true, the party has spent huge amount to bring workers and public to show strength at the rally. But, we have very bad experience of morcha at Nagpur Vidhan Bhavan in December 2014, where the Sangharsh Yatra was held last year. We could not gather even 200 people at several places.”

He elaborated the reason and said, it was their mistake to held morcha immediately after formation of BJP government in 2014 at Nagpur. “Last year, even people had faith with (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi and CM Fadnavis. So the response was very poor. But, now we are receiving overwhelming response which we had never expected,” said the leader.

He claimed, “it shows how people are fed up with Modi-Fadnavis government. ‘Mera Desh Badal Raha hai’ (my nation is changing) but in terms, people are opposing government. They are openly gathering against ruling government. Only paid workers cannot do it.” Chavan said, we have to change this government and the response shows BJP will be dethrowned in the next poll. Ramkishan Oza, son of late Prabha Oza is in charge of Sangharsh Yatra. He has planned the tour and has conducted successful rallies since the last 15 days. He stayed in Kolhapur, and systematically planned it. Party leader are giving credit of the grand talkies to Oza and Satej Patil, former minister. Patil emerged as leader of Western Maharashtra region which remained vacant after the demise of senior leader Patangrao Kadam.But Suresh Halwankar, BJP legislator from Ichalkaranji do not agree with Congress leaders’ claim.

“Congress do not have issues to talk against Modi and Fadnavis and hence are trying hard to raise old issueslike the deposit of Rs 15 lakhs in account of common man and Rafale deal,” Halwankar said and added, ujala gas and direct benefit transfer (DBT) are the big success of Modi government. “In Maharashtra, five crore people are beneficiaries of only these schemes. Beneficiaries of loan waiver are different from these. Will not these people vote for Modi government?” the legislator from the city known as Manchester of Maharashtra questioned.

“I’m in charge of 10 Lok Sabha and 56 Vidhan Sabha constituencies from Western Maharashtra region. I am sure even if Sena will not come with us, we will win 31 seats of LS across the state and 7 in my region,” claimed Halwankar. A political observer said, “The unrest among people has increased in a year before the election and this will be an alarm bell for the BJP. If opposition Congress can maintain the tempo, it will certainly be a threat to the BJP,” he said.

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