Mumbai : BJP may announce the first list of party candidates for the assembly election within a week, state party president Devendra Fadnavis has said.

“If everything goes according to our plan, we should be able to send a first list of prospective party candidates to the central parliamentary committee and the names will be announced only after its approval,” Fadnavis said after the meeting of state BJP Parliamentary Board here on Monday.

The meet was attended by state BJP in-charge Omprakash Mathur, Rajiv Pratap Rudi, leader of opposition in Assembly Eknath Khadse and leader of opposition in Legislative Council Vinod Tawde among other prominent leaders from the state.

“BJP leaders have toured every district of Maharashtra to get the ground-level feedback from local workers and reports have been submitted to the state leadership. We discussed these reports,” Fadnavis said. “We also discussed the campaign strategy, how to go about the campaign, what kind of media needs to be used etc.,” he added.

The state BJP also said the party will work according to the template set by National President Amit Shah amid indications that it is eyeing more Assembly seats than what it contested in 2009.

“We have invited Amit Shah to Mumbai as he has not visited Mumbai after assuming the post of BJP chief. We also want to show him the Ganpati festival being celebrated in Mumbai and also discuss the upcoming elections with him. We will work according to the guidelines set by him,” Fadnavis said.

When asked about why Amit Shah is not scheduled to meet Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray, Fadnavis said that, “he (Shah) would definitely meet Uddhavji at an appropriate time. They may not meet this time shows that there is no problem amongst us.”

He also said that the party is yet to finalise the seat-sharing agreement with Shiv Sena and dismissed reports of differences between the saffron allies over pre-poll pact.

Meanwhile, some 200 odd Shiv Sena workers from Niphad in Nashik district joined BJP here on Monday. When questioned about various leaders said to have been joining BJP, Fadnavis said, “We have our filters set to decide to whom shall we accept as a party member. We don’t entertain everybody who wants to join the party.”

“We have not allowed people to join BJP where we have not contested assembly elections,” he added.

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Different voices over seat-sharing

Fadnavis dismissed reports of a tug-of-war between BJP and Shiv Sena over distribution of seats. “There is no problem between the over two decade-old allies,” he said.

“We haven’t had final discussions over seat-sharing till now. So there is no question of any problem between us,” he added.

But, Union Minister and senior party leader from the state Nitin Gadkari, in an interview to a news channel yesterday, had reiterated BJP’s demand for 144 assembly seats. When asked about that, Fadnavis said, “Shah has asked us to take everybody with us.”


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