With elevation of his rivals, Fadnavis in a quandary

With elevation of his rivals, Fadnavis faces uncertain BJP future

Vinod Tawde and Chandrashekhar Bawankule, sidelined by Fadnavis, have been elevated by the party over the past week

Devendra Fadnavis. Credit: PTI Photo

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has been left in the lurch with the BJP promoting Vinod Tawde as the part's general secretary, from the post of national secretary, and nominating Chandrashekhar Bawankule for the Maharashtra Legislative Council polls, according to a report by The Indian Express.

Tawde, a former education minister, and Bawankule, a former power minister were sidelined by Fadnavis and not given tickets for the 2019 Assembly elections. Sidelining Bawankule, an OBC strongman from Nagpur and protege of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, reportedly cost the BJP at least six tickets in the Vidarbha region.

In this context, the moves suggest that the BJP is looking to limit the influence of Fadnavis, ahead of the 2024 general elections. Fadnavis, once seen as Maharashtra’s fresh-face and a next-generation leader, is now facing an uncertain future in the party.

Also Read — National politics priority, Fadnavis, Patil to lead Maharashtra: Vinod Tawde

“The rehabilitation of Tawde and Bawankule marks the downsizing of Fadnavis. Although we are not questioning his ability or integrity, the party will revert to pragmatic politics. One-leader politics may work at the Centre under Narendra Modi but it is not going to work in Maharashtra in 2024 polls. The party cannot antagonise the OBCs and Maratha community,” said a BJP vice president to the publication.

By nominating Bawankule, the BJP is currently seen as reaching out to the Teli community in Vidarbha as well as strengthening Gadkari.

Another leader sidelined by Fadnavis, the former state president of the BJP Raosaheb Danve is now Minister of State in the Ministries of Railways, Coal and Mines, at the Centre.

“Patience pays in politics. This is a loud message to every karyakarta in party,” Tawde, a seasoned politician, told the publication.

"The party has appointed me state general secretary. Now it has nominated me for council polls. Why should I sulk about what happened in past?” he said.

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