Amid LS festivity, CM begins Assembly prep

Updated: May 28, 2019, 07:51 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Instructs leaders to fast-track work, and achieve maximum results before Assembly polls' code of conduct sets in

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, BJP MP Tejasvi Surya and Smriti Irani during the NDA parliamentary board meeting at Parliament House, in New Delhi. Pic/PTI
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, BJP MP Tejasvi Surya and Smriti Irani during the NDA parliamentary board meeting at Parliament House, in New Delhi. Pic/PTI

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is a happy man but not very content post the Lok Sabha success of the NDA. Despite the BJP-Sena alliance in Maharashtra winning 41 seats, the defeats in Chandrapur and Aurangabad that saw two veterans bite the dust have disappointed Fadnavis.

"I had been saying very confidently that we would match the last election's number because of the good work that built people's trust in us. Winning Chandrapur and Aurangabad could have been the icing on the cake. I feel bad about losing these prime seats," he said in an exclusive conversation with mid-day on Monday.

Fadnavis on Monday reviewed big-ticket projects in the Mantralaya war-room that he had set up after assuming the charge of CM. Top bureaucrats, planners and executives who are entrusted with the job of speeding up development projects were present too when we asked him whether he expected the repeat of a landslide performance under his leadership in the state.

This is the second time in a row under Fadnavis's leadership that the BJP and its alliance partners have staged a stellar performance in the Lok Sabha. The CM was state BJP president when Maharashtra bolstered Modi's first term with 42 MPs of which BJP had 23. This time around too, the BJP won 23 seats (contested 25) while the Sena bagged 18 (contested 23). In the opposition camp, the Congress, NCP-backed independent and AIMIM walked away with one seat each. NCP retained four.

In Chandrapur, union minister of state for home Hansraj Ahir (BJP) lost to Suresh Dhanorkar who emerged as the Congress's only winner. Had BJP won there, it would have basked in the glory of making Maharashtra a 'Congress-mukt' state, just like several other territories across the country. In Aurangabad, AIMIM's Imtiaz Jalil beat Sena's multi-term MP Chandrakant Khaire. This defeat was very shocking for the saffron alliance because the capital city of Central Maharashtra has been the Hindutva hotbed for years.

The CM has already begun preparations for the Assembly polls at the organisational level. Fadnavis has swung into action to speed up governance and has instructed the officers concerned to go in a mission mode for getting things on track, expedite them and complete them wherever possible before the model code of conduct for the October Assembly polls is put in place by the Election Commission of India.

Due to code of conduct restrictions, lifted only recently, the Fadnavis government was unable to take decisions and implement them. However, when the drought crisis in the state aggravated, Fadnavis had made a special request to relax the restrictions for offering relief to the affected people. The request was granted with a rider that it shouldn't be used to solicit voters by way of making it a poll plank.

Best moment of his life
When asked about being part of the celebrations in the Central Hall of Parliament in which Narendra Modi was re-elected as the NDA leader last week, Fadnavis said, "It was the best moment of my life. Our happiness knew no bounds as we cheered for our leader and took a step forward to make India even stronger. I was fortunate to be part of the historic moment."

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