Fadnavis strong contender for CM post

Devendra Fadnavis has emerged the front runner for the chief minister post if the BJP gets majority in the multi-contested Maharastra Assembly elections to be held on Wednesday.

The BJP decided to contest the Assembly elections in Maharastra and Haryana on their popular and established “brand Modi” due to the absence of towering leaders and infighting in both the states.

Party state unit president Fadnavis is said to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s choice given that he is young, dynamic and enjoys a clean image. That the dice is loaded in favour of Fadnavis became quite clear, said party sources, when Modi–addressing a rally in Nagpur–thanked the people for elevating an ideal leader like him.

The prime minister had recalled Fadnavis digging out dirt to expose the maximum number of scams of the Congress-NCP government. He was the most projected state leader, racing ahead of other strong contenders including Vinod Tawde and Eknath Khadse, said party sources. Nagpur MLA Fadnavis emerged frontrunner after the demise of OBC leader Gopinath Munde in a road accident days after Modi became prime minister. 

Union minister Nitin Gadkari, who too comes from the state, has already ruled himself out of the race. He has publicly announced that he has informed the central leadership his lack of interest in going back to Maharastra. 

A BJP leader explained that unlike Congress where Gandhi family loyalists are always rewarded, in his party politicians with talent and capability have always been rewarded. Citing examples, he pointed out that not only Modi emerged from that selection process of the BJP but Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Raman Singh too were picked up virtually from isolation to lead Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Both the chief ministers have proven the central leadership’s trust in them, he added. 

A Brahmin by caste, Fadnavis is also close to the RSS which is also headquartered in Nagpur. But, Maharastra has never had a Brahmin chief minister barring Manohar Joshi in 1995 when the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance formed the governmente. BJP leaders said that during that time too, Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray did not project Joshi as the chief minister candidate but appointed him after the elections.

Probable Haryana CM

Similarly, Capt Abhimanyu, who is contesting from Narnaund, seems to be leading the race for chief minister probables in Haryana. If Fadnavis has Modi’s approval, Abhimanyu seems to have caught the appreciation of the BJP chief Amit Shah.

Stopping short of declaring him chief minister, Shah, in one of the rallies he addressed in Haryana, had stated that the state needed a “young, educated, efficient and patriotic” leader like Abhimanyu who could  “directly speak with the prime minister”.

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