The Assembly elections are a mere formality and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has already secured the publics mandate through the overwhelming response to its Mahajanadesh Yatra, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Friday.
He was speaking at the commencement of the third leg of the State-wide tour, which entered Ahmednagar district on Friday and is to cover western and northern Maharashtra in the next few days.
Taking potshots at the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Mr. Fadnavis said: The results to the election are a foregone conclusion& the few big leaders that the opposition has at the moment, like Ajit Pawar, Prithviraj Chavan, Ashok Chavan and Supriya Sule, must get into the practice of remaining there for a long time to come as it will be impossible to dislodge the BJP in the State and the Centre for the next 25 years.
Several people ask me what is the need of this Yatra as no pehelwan (political heavyweight) in the opposition party is left to take the field. I tell them that it is the BJPs tradition to thank the people for their wholehearted support, detail our achievements in the past five years and take a firm resolution to finish unfulfilled tasks, said the Chief Minister, adding that the erstwhile Congress-NCP government had squandered the good will of the people despite being given a chance to develop the State for 15 years.
Promising that every person in the State would have a roof over their heads by 2021, Mr. Fadnavis claimed that no previous government had taken up and fulfilled so many public welfare projects in a span of five years.
Mr. Fadnavis said the BJP-Sena government had given 50,000 crore in financial aid to farmers in the last five years in contrast to the 20,000 crore doled out by the Congress-NCP government during its 15-year regime.
Claiming that Maharashtra now topped the country in investment and industry, the Chief Minister said that the government had improved the infrastructure in the rural hinterland, completing 22,000 km of rural roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.
Reiterating that the Oppositions allegation of electronic voting machine (EVM) tampering was ludicrous, he said: They [the Congress-NCP and others] do not realise that it is [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi who is in the minds of every voter whenever he presses the button.
Mr. Fadnavis addressed public meetings in Akole and Sangamner, the bastions of former National Congress Party (NCP) veteran Madhukar Pichad and State Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat respectively.
Mr. Pichad and his son Vaibhav Pichad, who is the sitting MLA of Akole, left the NCP to join the BJP last month.
Praising the father-son duo, Mr. Fadnavis said: The BJP has grown in strength in Akole ever since Mr. Pichad threw in his lot with us&Vaibhav Pichad, who is an articulate and knowledgable legislator, will be re-elected by a record margin in the upcoming polls.