As the campaigning for the assembly elections began, it was more than clear that the BJP is treating the polls as a litmus test after the abrogation of Article 370.
Mumbai| Maharashtra’s Political parties are gearing up for the upcoming state election that is to be held on 21st October. These elections will decide whether the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is ruling the state for five-years with Devendra Fadavnis as CM will be able to repeat the massive success of 2019 Lok Sabha elections in the State assembly elections as well.
The forthcoming elections in the state of Maharashtra are also the first after the Modi government abrogated Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution, changing Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcating the state into two separate Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The BJP has planned to make Article 370 and nationalism its main poll planks in Maharashtra.
Maharashtra Assembly elections as a litmus test of Article 370
As the campaigning for the state assembly elections began, it was more than clear that the BJP is treating the polls as a litmus test of PM Modi’s popularity after the abrogation of Article 370. Right from PM Modi to CM Devendra Fadnavis, no rally or address goes by without the mention of Article 370.
On Thursday, which was the last day of the third leg of the Mahajanadesh campaign rally, PM Modi addressed the people in Nashik. While he pitched for another term for BJP and set the record straight endorsing Fadnavis for CM post once more, he didn’t fail to mention Kashmir. He blamed the Congress party for the decades of plight of Kashmiris and called for making efforts to create a “new paradise” in the Valley. “We have to create a new paradise in Kashmir… hug each Kashmiri,” he said.
On Sunday, the party had organized a public speech of party president and Home Minister Amit Shah in the state’s capital Mumbai. The topic of the speech was Article 370. Big banners and posters were put up across the city ahead of the event.
Speaking at the event Shah presented the abrogation Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir as an example of PM Modi’s bravery and grit. He even slammed Congress saying the opposition party only sees “politics” in J&K while the BJP sees “patriotism”.
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However, the opposition believes that it is an attempt to divert attention from main issues. NCP Mumbai chief Nawab Malik told HW News that it is just another tactic by the BJP to divert the attention from the real issues and speak about things which are not relevant to Maharashtra. Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant, on the other hand, said that BJP should discuss Article 370 in Kashmir not in Maharashtra.
Sharad Pawar, the main target on the BJP’s radar
With several prominent leaders from NCP and Congress jumping the ship to join BJP, opposition in the state seems dilapidated. However, NCP chief Sharad Pawar remains the main target on BJP’s radar. In his Nashik rally, PM Modi took a jibe on Sharad Pawar on the issue of nationalism and also invoked the valour of Shivaji. Through this, he sent out a message to the electorate, particularly the Maratha community.
At a time when the opposition in the party seems to have lost the plot, it is the NCP chief who is touring the state and going to every constituency. The former Chief Minister of Maharashtra is not only steering his own party but also driving the coalition with Congress. Thus, he remains the primary challenge to the BJP- Shivsena.
Targetting Sharad Pawar in Nashik, PM Modi said, “I can understand the confusion of the Congress. But Sharad Pawar? I feel bad when an experienced leader like him makes wrong statements for votes. He said he likes the neighbouring country. But everyone knows where the terror factory is”said Modi during a rally in Nashik.
Devendra Fadnavis during his Mahajanadesh Rally has often fired salvos at Pawar who is in his eighties. While speaking at India Today conclave Fadnavis said that once Sharad Pawar used to break MLAs and leaders from other parties. “Now the tables have turned. The same thing is happening to his party, NCP, today,” said Fadnavis.
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