Amit Shah eyes Sharad Pawar's bastion Baramati

Amit Shah eyes Sharad Pawar's bastion Baramati

The BJP chief has set his partymen the target of winning 45 out of 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra

BJP National President Amit Shah with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, BJP state president Raosaheb Danve and others at booth committee meeting, in Pune on Saturday. (PTI Photo)

Setting a target of winning 45 out of 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, BJP chief Amit Shah told party workers here Saturday that Baramati, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar's bastion, should be one of them.

Shah addressed BJP workers at a review meeting for three constituencies in the district -- Pune, Baramati and Shirur -- ahead of the coming polls.

"In Maharashtra, if our alliance wins less than 45 seats, it will not be deemed a victory," Shah said.

While the Shiv Sena and BJP had contested the last Lok Sabha election together, it is not yet clear whether the alliance would continue this time given their strained relations.

"I want my party workers to win me 45 seats from the state, and to achieve that we will have to win Baramati seat. If we win Baramati, the number 45 can be achieved," the BJP chief said.

Baramati, Pawar's home turf, is at present represented by his daughter Supriya Sule.

"Not a single seat should go to the people who were involved in corruption in Maharashtra... not a single seat should be left to the people who talk about human rights of immigrants," the BJP president said.

State BJP chief Raosaheb Danve in his speech expressed confidence that they would win 43 seats, one more than in 2014.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the BJP was ready to fight elections alone. "We are ready to fight on all 48 seats with full strength... the 43rd seat Danve talks about is Baramati," he said.

Last time, Rashtriya Samaj Paksh leader Mahadev Jankar, an NDA ally, lost from Baramati by a small margin, he said, adding, "Had there been the lotus symbol, we would have won Baramati. This time we will not make that mistake. Our candidate will fight on the party symbol."