BJP raising non issues: Shinde

The 77-year-old politician, who had served in various capacities like Maharashtra chief minister, union home minister and Andhra Pradesh governor. File photo
From being a bailiff in a court to working as an intelligence officer in Mumbai police to becoming a successful politician,  veteran Congressman Sushilkumar Shinde has seen politics of last five decades closely.  
 
The 77-year-old politician,  who had served in various capacities like Maharashtra chief minister,  union home minister and Andhra Pradesh governor.  
 
Shinde had said this is going to be his last election,  however,  he is facing a stiff challenge from BJP's Dr Jaisiddheshwar Shivacharya Mahaswami,  a Lingayat seer and Vachit Bahujan Aghadi founder Prakash Ambedkar in the Solapur (SC) seat.
 
In an interview with DH's Mrityunjay Bose, he says that his work speaks for itself. 
 
You are locked in a fierce contest in the Solapur seat.  How do you see your chances? 
I have been contesting elections in Solapur for long. The 2014 election is the only election that I lost.  I am going to people and meeting them. They all know me and my work.  My work speaks.  
 
The nominations of Lingayat seer Dr Jaisiddheshwar Shivacharya Mahaswami,  who has been fielded by BJP and Prakash Ambedkar,  the grandson of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, has made Solapur one of the keenly watched contests.
The BJP is a known polariser and had fielded Swamiji. As far as Ambedkar is concerned,  he is 'vote-katua'.  BJP and VBA are the same thing. They have joined hands against me. But I am not worried. 
 
The CPI(M) had extended support to Ambedkar.  Will it have any impact? 
That's what I am saying. Who is going with whom? The decision of CPI(M) is surprising. I have seen and faced several elections. People are with me. In the last five years,  I have been with people.
 
Last time in Maharashtra,  one of the traditional bastions of the Congress,  the performance has been poor. What is your assessment? 
Every election is not the same,  every time,  the situation is not the same. The situation is different this time. We are confident that we will perform well in Maharashtra and elsewhere in the country. 
 
The BJP had targetted you for using the word 'Hindu terror'. 
The BJP has been raising non-issues.  They should tell what they have done in the last five years.  The BJP is known to divide people on religious lines. What relevance does it have today? Let them tell what they have done in five years,  that's what people want to know.

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BJP raising non issues: Shinde

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