MUMBAI: A day after the exit polls predicted that the BJP will form the next government in Maharashtra, politicians on Thursday discussed the possible political permutations and combinations in case the BJP failed to get a clear majority.
Senior NCP leader Praful Patel’s tweet led to the speculation that his party will back the BJP if needed. “The NCP will have a crucial role to play in Maharashtra government formation. I am confident that the NCP will do well in the polls,” he said.
Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse discarded the possibility of the NCP’s backing. However, Khadse candidly admitted that the BJP’s decision to ‘import’ some candidates from the Congress and the NCP was not working in its favour. He indicated that at least seven imported candidates will lose the elections because of the anti-incumbency factor attached with the government.
“I have noticed that the voters have rejected some of them (the imported ones) because they were part of the indecisive and corrupt government. The person might be good as an individual but just because he was a part of the government, the voters have thought otherwise,” he said. The BJP has imported 53 candidates from the Congress and the NCP, including four former ministers-- Baban Pachpute, Vijaykumar Gavit, Sanjay Deotale and Sanjay Sawkare.
Shiv Sena leader Diwakar Raote had alleged that “egoistic” Khadse was responsible for breaking their 27-year-old alliance because he chose to field Sawkare on a Shiv Sena seat.
“Now, his statement that imported candidates will lose proves that our stand was correct,” Raote said. Khadse, who is also a front-runner for the Chief Minister’s post along with state BJP president Devendra Fadnavis, added that a decision whether to keep Anant Geete in the Union Cabinet has to be taken by the Sena. “We won’t ask them to pull him out. Neither will we ask him to leave. It is up to the Sena to take a decision,” he said.
The veteran leader said that his party was not expecting an apology from the Sena for using derogatory language against Modi and his late father. “We are hurt by the usage of wrong words but how can we expect them to apologise?” Khadse said.
Meanwhile, the Congress has refused to acknowledge the findings of the exit polls. “We are not ready to trust the surveys whose sample size was around 3,000. I am confident that the Congress will do better than what was projected in the exit polls,” party spokesperson Anant Gadgil said.
According to a source in the Congress, at least a dozen state party leaders have written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi complaining against former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for making “objectionable” remarks against some leaders.
In an interview, Chavan had said that if he had taken action against former CMs, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde and Ashok Chavan in connection with the Adarsh scam, there would have been a split in the Congress. In their letter, the leaders have complained that Chavan had brought a bad name for the party by admitting that he was leading a corrupt government.