Nagpur's people have 'rejected' Fadnavis as CM: Cong

Fadnavis' victory margin in 2014, when he was just an MLA, was much bigger than in 2019 when he was the chief minister, said Congress leader Ashish Deshmukh who was pitted against Fadnavis from Nagpur South West. Photo/Twitter

Congress leader Ashish Deshmukh, who fought unsuccessfully against Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in the just-held assembly elections, on Monday said the BJP leader's reduced victory margin means the people of Nagpur have "rejected" him as CM.

Deshmukh also said if the Opposition Congress-NCP combine had projected Lok Sabha MP Supriya Sule as its chief ministerial candidate, it would have got better results in the October 21 elections.

Fadnavis was elected from the Nagpur South West constituency by defeating his nearest rival, Deshmukh, by a margin of 49,344 votes.

Fadnavis, the first BJP chief minister of Maharashtra, won from the constituency for the third time, but with a reduced margin. He had won from the seat by 58,942 votes in 2014.

Taking potshots at Fadnavis, Deshmukh said the CM's post in the next government should go to outgoing Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, who was denied ticket by the BJP this time.

In 2014, Bawankule was elected from Kamptee in Nagpur district.

Addressing a press conference here, Deshmukh said, "Fadnavis's victory margin in 2014, when he was just an MLA, was much bigger than in 2019 when he was the chief minister.

"Hence, people had then accepted Fadnavis as their legislator. As chief minister, Fadnavis was expecting a winning margin of more than 1 lakh.

"But, he could not even get the lead he got in 2014 and his lead ended at around 49,000. Hence, the people of Nagpur have rejected Fadnavis as chief minister," he said. 

 Deshmukh took a dig at Fadnavis over denial of ticket to Bawankule.

"Fadnavis had talked about giving a bigger post to Chandrasekhar Bawankule than what he was holding now. In this backdrop, Fadnavis and the BJP leadership should give the CM's post to Bawankule," the Congress leader said.

In reply to a question, Deshmukh said the Congress-NCP combine would have got better results and an opportunity to form the next government, if the opposition front had projected Sule as its chief ministerial candidate.

Sule, the daughter of NCP president Sharad Pawar, is the Lok Sabha MP from Baramati in Pune district.

The NCP and the Congress bettered their 2014 tally, winning 56 and 44 seats, respectively, this time. 

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