On his maiden visit to Mumbai after his selection as national president of the BJP, Amit Shah meant business.
Putting an end to uncertainty over BJP-Sena alliance, Shah ensured on Thursday that his party's ongoing tussle with the alliance partner didn't stretch beyond a point. He extended a thaw to a long-time ally immediately after arriving in Mumbai when he said the two partners would be together in the Assembly polls and asked BJP workers to leave seat-sharing with Sena to the leaders from either side, and work relentlessly for the victory of grand alliance.
Amid speculations that he may avoid meeting the Sena President, Shah accepted Uddhav Thackeray’s invitation to visit the latter’s Bandra residence and also paid tributes to late Bal Thackeray at his Shivaji Park memorial in the afternoon. Uddhav reciprocated Shah’s gesture by skipping questions by the prodding media at a conference earlier in the day. Insiders expected the two parties to expedite remaining formalities under the joint efforts of Shah and Uddhav.
Shah’s message to state BJP’s core committee was very clear: don’t waste energies in waiting for seat-sharing and instead concentrate on campaigning. He said such situations created doubt among the foot soldiers of the party, who needed to work freely at the grass-root level. He told leaders the alliance with Sena must stay for ensuring better poll results, directing them for getting smaller allies on board before two major partners started talking their respective share, which state BJP wants not less than half of the total 288 seats.
Shah set agenda for the alliance when he accused the Congress-NCP of corruption worth Rs. 11.88 lakh crore in the past 15 years. “You will not win because of the mahaual (situation) and speeches made by the leaders, but you will win only when you take this message (of corruption and bad governance) to the people who are yearning for changing the state government,” he told BJP workers at Shanmukhanand Hall in the evening.
He said the money siphoned off by the Congress and NCP leaders could be traced to the assets made by their kin. “The state could have developed in all sectors by using the money these people made in corruption.
Shah said BJP, under Modi’s leadership, could alone give the country and Maharashtra good governance. “Chhatrapati Shivaji not only gave this country freedom from a fanatic emperor like Aurangzeb, but also established good governance. This is the place from where Shivaji started his mission. You also start yet another mission from here; you should make Maharashtra Congress-free, so that the country entire too gets rid of the Congress.”
BJP chief blamed everything under the sun on the Congress and NCP. “Even the mother nature is not happy with these people who intentions are impure. The successive droughts happened in Maharashtra only because of the corrupt Congress and NCP. Look at the BJP-led governments in the neighborhood; the states like Gujarat did not have a single drought ever since Narendra Modi took over there.”
A sitting MLA and two ex-MPs from the ruling combine joined BJP in the presence of Shah, who appealed to good leaders from all parties to join BJP’s effort of toppling the corrupt government.
Watch: Make Maharashtra Congress free, says BJP chief Amit Shah