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BJP president Amit Shah kicks off Mission 2019 in Maharashtra

Mumbai city news: Shah’s message to his party leadership indicates the top BJP rung is not taking the possibility of mid-term or early polls in the state seriously

mumbai Updated: Jun 19, 2017 08:49 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times
BJP,Shiv Sena,Maharashtra
BJP president Amit Shah and CM Devendra Fadnavis after garlanding the statue of Maratha warrior king Shivaji at Shivaji Park, Dadar, on Friday. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

BJP president Amit Shah, while speaking to party leaders in the state on Friday, called for ‘shat pratishat BhaJaPa’ or 100% BJP in Maharashtra for 2019 Assembly, ruling out mid-term polls.

The target for the Assembly polls have been set at 200 out of 288 seats and 48 seats from Maharashtra for Lok Sabha, sources said. In the 2014 elections, the BJP had won 122 Assembly seats and the BJP-led alliance won 42 Lok Sabha seats. The party president held meetings with ministers, legislators and Members of Parliament on the first day of his three-day visit to the city.

”The clear message was not to relax despite a good show in the recent local polls. He said the state has 90,000 electoral booths and party leaders should ensure they set up 10 workers in every booth, creating a presence of nine lakh BJP workers in the state before the 2019 general polls,’’ said a party legislator.

A BJP minister, on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media said, “The party president set tough targets for the party, pointing out how they had been achieved in Uttar Pradesh.’’

Shah’s message to his party leadership also indicates the top rung is not taking the possibility of mid-term or early polls in the state seriously at this stage and is convinced the Fadnavis government will complete five years. The message also points out the Bharatiya Janata Party has envisioned a future in the state without its long-term alliance partner, Shiv Sena.

Shah’s visit to Mumbai is part of his 95-day countrywide tour to expand the party’s organisational footprint before the next general elections in 2019.

The Bharatiya Janata Party president is scheduled to hold 27 marathon meetings during his stay with a cross section of the party cadre and leadership to review the party’s initiatives in the past three years and lay down goalposts for the state unit ahead of the 2019 polls.

Shah started his day in Mumbai on a politically correct note by going to Shivaji Park straight from the airport and paying respects to the statue of Maratha warrior king Shivaji, Veer Savarkar, Sena founder Balsaheb Thackeray and then heading to Chaityabhoomi to do the same for Dr BR Ambedkar.

The highlight of Shah’s visit to Mumbai is his meeting with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday morning at the latter’s residence, Matoshree in Bandra. Shah is expected to seek Sena’s backing for an NDA candidate in the upcoming Presidential polls. The Sena, however, seems in a combative mood.

The party on Friday put forward agriculture scientist MS Swaminathan’s name for the Presidential candidate.

Shah also met senior editors of all city newspapers and publications.

He also met with actors and artists in the evening. The BJP president is slated to hold organisational meetings with representatives of 19 different wings and fronts of the party on Saturday.

Read more:

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First Published: Jun 17, 2017 00:21 IST