Mumbai: A day before Maharashtra votes, BJP state president Devendra G. Fadnavis is supremely confident, saying his party is all set to capture power in the state for the first time.
"There is no doubt in my mind that the BJP will form the next government in Maharashtra. We are 100 percent certain of getting a majority," Fadnavis told IANS in an interview.
BJP state president Devendra G. Fadnavis
In an exhaustive interview, Fadnavis added that the BJP will have a comfortable majority in the 288-member legislature along with the support of smaller parties of the truncated Grand Alliance.
Dismissing speculation that its erstwhile ally Shiv Sena would win more seats, the chief minister probable asserted: "The verdict will completely favour the BJP."
He discounted the possibility of the other four main parties -- the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena -- ganging up to keep the BJP out of power if it emerges as the single largest entity.
"The Congress and NCP are in such a bad shape that they cannot form a government with any other party. Besides, Maharashtra generally goes with the ruling party at the centre (now BJP)," says Fadnavis, a qualified lawyer.
Asked why the BJP has not projected anyone for the post of chief minister, the 44-year-old Brahmin from Nagpur stiffens a trifle. The issue has become sensitive in the party.
"We concluded that Maharashtra wants to go with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his agenda of development and progress. So, the government will be fully supportive of this," said Fadnavis, who became India's youngest city mayor (Nagpur) at age 27.
But he says there were four-five prominent leaders in the party for the top post: Eknath Khadse, former leader of the opposition in the assembly, Vinod Tawde, leader of the opposition in the legislative council, Pankaja Munde, daughter of the late Gopinath Munde, and Fadnavis.
If the BJP wins the election, will it prefer the state's first woman OBC chief minister (Pankaja Munde) or second Brahmin chief minister (Fadnavis)?
"Maharashtra has moved far ahead of any caste-religion considerations. A majority of voters are in the 25-year age group. They have dreams and aspirations, a desire for development, progress, employment."
Asked about supposed divergent views between BJP president Amit Shah and Modi, Fadnavis said: "They share an