MUMBAI: While stressing that both the principal opposition parties, the Congress and the NCP, have lost steam and the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) under Prakash Ambedkar is emerging up as a major opposition force, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said that the next opposition leader in Maharashtra assembly will be from VBA.
Fadnavis who addressed a press conference at Nanded as part of his ‘Maha Janadsh Yatra’ came down heavily against the opposition parties at the former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s hometown.
"Our primary fight is with the VBA and most probably the leader of the opposition after the assembly poll would be from the VBA," Fadnavis said.
The comment came when he was asked about VBA being dubbed as the B team of BJP. "The times have changed and the Congress and NCP are now the A and B teams of VBA," he added.
Fadnavis also took potshots at Sharad Pawar, who lost his cool over questions about his relatives deserting his party.
"Sharad Pawar is a senior leader. I won’t say anything about him. But, recently several leaders from his party have expressed confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s work and are joining the BJP. Pawar too should sense the changing times," he said.
Fadnavis enlisted work done by his government over the past five years at the press conference. "1.25 lakh of the new PMAY houses have been approved for Maharashtra," he said while highlighting how the centre too is supporting the state.
Also, in a major deviation from the party line put for the by state president Chandrakant Patil, Fadnavis stated that the decision on the induction of former Chief Minister Narayan Rane would be taken only after consultation with the Shiv Sena.
“Our alliance is strong and we would be contesting the assembly polls together. Regarding the proposal of dissolving Narayan Rane’s party into the BJP, the decision would be taken after due consultation with the Shiv Sena leadership,” Fadnavis said.