Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah on Friday said that the electoral battle in Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar’s hometown, Baramati, is not a friendly fight, and the party is determined to win with a “huge margin”.
Shah was addressing a well-attended poll rally in support of the BJP candidate Kanchan Kul at the Sharada grounds in Baramati. She is pitted against Pawar’s daughter and sitting member of Parliament (MP) from Baramati, Supriya Sule, who is seeking a third term. “I had no plans to visit Baramati for campaigning as Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis is doing a good job which is why the party had reduced my rallies in state. However, some people were spreading rumours that it is a friendly fight between the BJP and Pawar,” said Shah.
The BJP chief said that he came to Baramati to clarify that there is no friendly fight in Baramati and the BJP is serious about the seat. “I have come here to clarify that the BJP is going to win the Baramati seat with a huge margin and there cannot be a friendly fight here because the BJP is pulling all the stops to win the seat,” said Shah.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was expected to address a poll rally in Baramati. However, the venue of Modi’s rally was shifted to neighbouring Akluj town in Madha constituency, prompting questions whether the BJP was serious about the fight against Sule. In Baramati, the BJP has put up all its might behind Kul after a defeat with a relatively narrow margin during 2014. Challenging Pawar in his own bastion, Shah asked people to hit “at the roots” and nowhere else, implying that party leaders should not shy away from attacking Pawar.
“Last time, Mahadev Jankar fell short by only a few thousand votes; but this time, we will not repeat the mistake and we have fielded a candidate on the party symbol. I appeal to people to vote Kul and make Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister again,” said Shah. In February, Shah, while addressing party workers in Pune had set up a target of 45 seats, including Baramati, from where Supriya Sule was elected twice to the Lok Sabha after her father chose to go to the Rajya Sabha. Attacking Pawar on his home turf, Shah said that during the NCP rule, Maharashtra’s performance had dipped on every parameter. “I challenge Pawar to present his report card and tell us what he has done for Baramati, Pune and the state,” he said.
Apr 20, 2019 03:28 IST
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