Mumbai: Devendra Fadnavis and Uddhav Thackeray took potshots at each other as the deputy chief minister on Saturday formally launched the BJP’s campaign for the BMC election with the resolve of winning the mayoralty and fulfilling the dreams of the late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray.
Lauding Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar's role in the 2017 civic polls, Fadnavis said, “The BJP, which won a record 82 seats, could have won the mayoral election also. But we took two steps back for our ally [the Sena].”
He added that the 2022 election would be won by the BJP in alliance with the Eknath Shinde faction of the Sena, as the tie-up is based on the ideals of the Sena founder.
“The alliance will make every effort to unfurl the saffron flag atop the BMC and end corruption in the civic body,” he declared.
Boosting MLA Shelar, Fadnavis said the city BJP chief had been a cricketer and Mumbai Cricket Association president.
“You are going to win this match,” he asserted. “We want to start a Mumbai Vikas League in the BMC.”
Without naming the Uddhav-led Sena, Fadnavis said, “There may be roadblocks. You have developed several football grounds and if football comes in between you know how to kick it.”
Hitting out at the Uddhav faction over its claim that Shinde had to bow to Delhi, he said the chief minister’s visit to the national capital was in Mumbai’s interests.
“Even I will go to Delhi whenever needed to get the Centre’s approval for various projects,” he said.
Later, Sena president Thackeray took a dig at Fadnavis, saying the BJP leader seeking votes in Balasaheb’s name was an admission the Modi-era was over.
By claiming that the BJP wants to win the BMC election to fulfil the dreams of the late Sena founder, Fadnavis had tacitly admitted that it would not be useful to seek votes in Modi’s name, Thackeray said.