Union Minister Gopinath Munde would lead the BJP campaign to wrest power in Maharashtra from the Congress-NCP alliance, now into third term in office.
"Munde will lead our poll campaign for Assembly polls," Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Vinod Tawde told reporters here.
Tawde, however, parried a question as to who would be the chief ministerial candidate in the event of BJP securing the largest number of seats among the Mahayuti alliance partners, which includes Shiv Sena and three other outfits. "
After the poll results, the party's parliamentary board will decide who will be the leader of BJP legislature party," Tawde said. "We (Mahayuti) will surely win at least 200 (of the total 288) Assembly seats," Tawde said. BJP's position has improved in the state after the Lok Sabha polls, with the party securing 23 seats compared to Shiv Sena's tally of 18 seats.
This has boosted the morale of state leaders who feel BJP should get a chance to contest more seats than it did in the 2009 polls, thereby helping improve the tally. Sena President Uddhav Thackeray recently reaffirmed his party's claim on the chief ministerial post in case the Mahayuti were to come to power. The Sena held the CM's post when the saffron alliance was in power in the state during 1995-99.
Tawde said he has made several demands on issues related to Maharashtra to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, including handing over of the National Textile Corporation's land in Mumbai for setting up a memorial of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.