Maharashtra BJP President Chandrashekhar Bawankule addressed the ongoing speculation surrounding the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra, stating that BJP workers in the state believe Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should assume the role. Bawankule emphasized that while it’s natural for party members to voice their preferences, the final decision would rest with the BJP’s parliamentary board.
During an interaction with the media in Kolhapur, as part of the ‘Sampark Se Samarthan’ campaign undertaken by the BJP across Maharashtra, Bawankule commented on the prevailing sentiments within the party. He stated, “Even BJP workers believe Fadnavis is the best candidate for CM. It is natural for party karyakartas to express their views. There is nothing wrong with it.”
Bawankule acknowledged that such preferences exist in every political party, mentioning that the NCP desires Ajit Pawar, while the Shiv Sena leans toward Eknath Shinde as their preferred CM candidate. He highlighted that a final decision would be made by the party’s parliamentary board, factoring in the current political landscape and circumstances.
Reflecting on historical examples, Bawankule mentioned how the BJP has made surprising choices for CM in the past, such as Nitish Kumar in Bihar, despite the Janata Dal (U) having fewer Assembly seats than the BJP. Similarly, in Maharashtra, the BJP appointed Eknath Shinde as CM despite having a larger presence with 105 MLAs, compared to the Shinde faction of Shiv Sena with 50 MLAs (including 10 Independent MLAs).
Discussing the party’s preparations for the 2024 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, Bawankule revealed the launch of ‘Mahavijay 2024,’ a campaign focused on door-to-door outreach. He stressed that the Maharashtra BJP aims to educate people about the welfare schemes of the Centre, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the state government schemes under the leadership of Shinde, Fadnavis, and Ajit Pawar.
Bawankule expressed confidence in the BJP’s ability to return to power in the 2024 polls, anticipating victory alongside its alliance partners, Shiv Sena (under Shinde) and NCP (with Ajit Pawar). He outlined their goal to secure a 51 percent vote share in every Lok Sabha and Assembly constituency.