Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah’s agenda for the state assembly polls seems to be clear: cashing in on the Narendra Modi wave which worked wonders for the party in the recent Lok Sabha polls. To ensure a repeat of their performance, he has asked the party’s core committee, rank and file to spread awareness on the decisions taken by the NDA government and the PM’s commitment towards people to every nook and corner of the state.
Attempting to create a link between the concept of good governance and Chhatrapati Shivaji, the state’s most revered personality, Shah, who was in the city on Thursday, gave the party a slogan: “Chalo chale Modi ke saath, Chhatrapatincha ashirvaad [let’s seek Shivaji’s blessing and support Modi].”
Though focused on winning, Shah asked the party cadre to stop thinking too much about the seat-sharing formula with the Sena. “What matters is winning the seats we contest,” he told the party’s core committee at senior leader Vinod Tawde’s Vile Parle residence in the afternoon.
Later in the evening, Shah launched the party’s assembly campaign at the workers’ rally at Shanmukhananda Hall. The corruption in the state in the Congress-NCP’s 15-year rule, amounting to Rs. 11.88 lakh crore, because of which the state is losing in every sector should be targeted by the cadre, Shah said.
Launching an attack on NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shah said he wanted to know which industrialist was meeting the former union agriculture minister, when the UPA government had agreed to an anti-farmer WTO agreement.
“Don’t keep any doubts in your mind. Let the leaders decide the seat-sharing formula. Bear in mind that the next government will be of the alliance,” he said, in an apparent bid to dispel the ‘trust deficit’ between the footsoldiers of both parties who need to work together for better results.
BJP insiders said the state leaders reasoned with Shah why they must revise the 169:119 formula, which has been favouring the Sena for the past two decades. They said the BJP must get half of the 288 seats because of its growing voter base. Shah is learned to have told the leaders to wait for a consensus for some more time, failing which, he, in consultation with Modi, would strike a deal with Uddhav Thackeray.
According to the formula, the Sena and the BJP should get 144 seats each, and both should give away nine seats each to smaller allies, leaving them with 135 seats each. The Sena is opposed to the idea because it has been contesting 169 seats since 1990. The alliance came to power in 1995 and lost five years later.