MUMBAI: The BJP’s stunning performance in the Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra, where the party won 23 out of the 24 seats it contested, is likely to prove a shot in the arm to party’s state chief Devendra Fadnavis.
And it is expected to help Fadnavis, 43, to emerge from the seniors’ shadow and establish his political identity.
Despite his brilliant record as a legislator, Fadnavis, who originally hails from Nagpur,had been eclipsed by fellow Nagpur native Nitin Gadkari, Gopinath Munde and Vinod Tawde. Nicknamed ‘opening batsman’ in the state Assembly over his role in targeting the state government,Fadnavis was made the state president in April last as a compromise candidate in the tussle between Gadkari and Munde over controlling the party’s state unit.
Despite his appointment as state BJP chief, Fadnavis has kowtowed to his seniors in the state BJP while running the party affairs. First, he made Munde’s daughter Pankaja Palve state president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM). Then he accommodated Gadkari loyalists in his team. Though a committee headed by the state BJP chief is empowered to recommend its candidates to the central committee, Fadnavis has been under pressure from both Gadkari and Munde to abide by their choice of the candidates.
With Gadkari and Munde now likely to get a national profile, Fadnavis can now expect a larger role for himself in the decision-making process, especially on issues related to the state Assembly polls in September.