Fadnavis speaks of mid-term polls, Uddhav hits back

Fadnavis speaks of mid-term polls, Uddhav hits back
In what is being seen as a strong message to Shiv Sena, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that BJP was ready for mid-term elections and confident of coming to power again.

However, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said that if they had money to fight elections they should give it to farmers and hence the question of mid-term elections does not arise.

The two statements on Thursday is being seen in the context of the recently-announced loan waiver when BJP sided with the farmers even while in government and the ensuing Presidential elections when the votes of the regional party would be crucial.

“Some people said (when the farmers' agitation was on) that they will bring the government down, they will withdraw support. I said we are ready for mid-term polls...if someone wants to impel us to go for mid-term polls, I am confident we will be able to form government again," Fadnavis said. The confidence of the BJP stems from the fact that in the elections to municipal corporations, municipal councils, zilla parishads and panchayat samitis, it has emerged as No. 1 party in terms of public representatives.

Thackeray, however, to a query on the CM's statement, said: “It seems they have a lot of money to fight mid-term elections… They should give it to the poor farmers and clear all their loans. We shall fully support them". Taking a dig at Maharashtra BJP president Raosaheb Patil-Danve, he said: "We did not care for power and supported the farmers… The farmers will not forgive those who called them as ‘saala’ and make they cry."  On being asked about the statement of Shiv Sena spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut that in July there would be a political earthquake, he said: "If the loan waiver is not implemented there would be earthquake."

The Fadnavis-Thackeray war-of-words comes on the eve of BJP president Amit Shah's three-day visit to Mumbai.

On Sunday, Shah is scheduled to meet Thackeray at Matoshree, the suburban Bandra bungalow of the Thackerays.

Danve and  Raut confirmed the meeting. "You must not read politics into it....the chiefs of two parties are meeting...when Uddhav ji visited New Delhi, during that time also he had met Amit Shah," Raut said. "The BJP president would be in Mumbai during which he would meet the Shiv Sena president," Danve said.

The Sena with 18 MPs and 63 MLAs has 25,893 votes in the electoral college. From Maharashtra, the support of an MP translates to 708 votes, and an MLA’s vote translates to 175 votes.Going against the NDA view, the Shiv Sena founder late Balasaheb Thackeray had supported Congress nominees - Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee in the Presidential elections in 2002 and 2012.

While Patil got the support on the ground that she was a Maharashtrian, Mukherjee had personal relations with the Thackeray family.

On Wednesday evening, senior BJP leader and Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil, who is a close confidante of Shah, met Thackeray, to apprise him of the loan waiver announced by the government and its implementation plan.

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