BJP leaders in Maharashtra pulled up for party's debacle, decision made to have no CM face

"The top leadership asked the state leadership why no regular core committee or state parliamentary meeting was being held in Maharashtra?" a source revealed.
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis with Union Home Minister Amit Shah. (Photo | ANI)

The BJP may have rejected Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' offer to resign, but the state leadership has been warned that no person from their ranks should act as the sole deciding authority.

The BJP national president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah said this in a meeting of Maharashtra BJP leaders that was called to discuss the party's poor showing in the Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra.

Senior Maharashtra BJP leaders including Fadnavis, state president Chandrashekar Bawankule, Mumbai president Ashish Shelar, Pankaja Munde, BJP minister Sudhir Mungatiwar and union minister Piyush Goyal were present.

Goyal told those assembled that the party has decided not to change the state leadership ahead of the assembly election scheduled in October. Earlier, Fadnavis had offered his resignation after taking responsibility for the party’s failure in Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress had emerged as the largest party in the state with 14 seats, including the support of an independent Lok Sabha MP, while the BJP contested 28 seats and won only nine as opposed to the 23 it had won in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The Sharad Pawar-led NCP won eight out of ten seats it contested while the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) and CM Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena won nine and seven seats respectively. The Ajit Pawar-led NCP won only one Lok Sabha seat.

Sources said that the BJP's top leadership expressed their displeasure over the party's disastrous performance in the state at the meeting.

"The BJP leadership said that despite the party being in power both at the Centre and state, they failed to do well. The leadership asked the state leadership why no regular core committee or state parliamentary meeting was being held in Maharashtra?" a source, requesting anonymity, revealed.

"They also asked why key decisions were not discussed in core committees and taken after holding meetings. They insisted on collective decision-making. All sections of the society and all leaders have to be involved in the decisions, they said. No single person should dominate and make the decisions on behalf of the core committee, the leaders insisted. No one is bigger than the party they went on to stress,” the source added.

Another leader who was part of the meeting said, the party leadership also sought to know why the state government had failed to find tangible solutions for the long-simmering Maratha and Dhangar reservation demands.

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
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“The party leadership pulled up the Maharashtra leaders over the mishandling of the Maratha agitations that antagonised the dominant Maratha caste. State leaders were told to take corrective measures as early as possible. The top leadership also told Maharashtra BJP leaders to avoid being arrogant while dealing with people. They were told that there should be an emphasis on the maintenance of law and order,” the source added.

The top leadership went on to ask the BJP state leaders why they failed to counter the Opposition's narrative on social media despite all the resources at their command.

“The leaders stressed that the Opposition had managed this showing despite not having either their original party name and symbol (the UBT Sena and Sharad Pawar's NCP) or the resources. Why did we fail then, they asked? The accountability will be fixed, but right now the state leaders were told that they need to work hard for the upcoming state assembly elections,” the source said.

The BJP decided that "no one will be projected as the Chief Ministerial face. If Mahayuti comes back to power, who will get the post will be taken. Besides, the leaders were told not to hurt any of the allies as the BJP was not in a position to go it alone in the assembly election. The leaders were asked to focus on micro-planning."

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
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