The Maharashtra NCP president, Jayant Patil, warned on Saturday that the 2024 Assembly elections in the state will be all about the BJP vs the MVA, and that the existence of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena will be called into doubt.
Patil told reporters here that he believes the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would contest all 288 Assembly seats on its symbol, and that the Shinde group will "cease" to exist.
'Shinde group's existence will be in doubt'
"I don't think the Shinde group will remain intact when the fight would be between the BJP and the MVA," said the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader.
The MVA government, formed by the Uddhav Thackeray-led group, the NCP and Congress, collapsed last year after Shinde walked out of the undivided Shiv Sena.
He then joined hands with the BJP to return as the chief minister. His group was recently allotted the name 'Shiv Sena' and its 'bow-and-arrow' symbol by the Election Commission.
BJP doesn't want to recognise the existence of local political outfits
Patil alleged that the BJP doesn't want to recognise the existence of local political outfits and allow their growth. "The BJP has worked to destroy smaller parties - allies or rivals. The BJP's single-point agenda is to destabilise smaller parties so that it can grab their vote share," said the NCP leader.
If the Shinde group manages to exist till then, BJP will at the last minute allow them to contest 48 seats and tell them only five to six of their nominees can win, said Patil.
When asked about the CM's statement in the Assembly on the demands of farmers participating in the long march, Patil said the government has increased the money for onion procurement to ₹350 per quintal despite the demand being ₹500 to ₹600.
A committee has been set up to decide claims of forest land rights. This is nothing but delaying tactics, he said.
There was no word on the demand for availability of 12-hour uninterrupted electricity supply for farmers, Patil said, adding that the chief minister ignored the issue of 100 per cent grant to aided schools and implementation of the Old Pension Scheme.
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