Mumbai: Newly-appointed Maharashtra unit chief of BJP Chandrakant Patil on Wednesday said making the state "Congress-mukt" was his priority in the upcoming Assembly elections.
He was talking to reporters after his appointment as the state unit chief of BJP. Patil, considered number two in the Devendra Fadnavis-led cabinet, replaced Raosaheb Danve, who resigned as the state BJP chief after his induction into the Union cabinet.
"My priority is to achieve Congress-mukt Maharashtra in the Assembly elections," he said. He, however, admitted that defeating NCP leader Ajit Pawar in Baramati Assembly constituency would be like day-dreaming.
"NCP received a lead of 1.20 lakh votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Baramati Lok Sabha constituency. It is difficult to cover it in this assembly elections. But I have set the target of winning Baramati Lok Sabha seat in 2024," Patil, who is also the state Revenue Minister, said.
"BJP-Sena and allied parties should win 220 seats," he said in response to a question over how many seats the saffron alliance is eyeing to win. He, however, dodged a question whether he himself would contest the assembly election or not.
A few months back, the minister had said that the BJP and the Sena would contest 135 seats each, leaving the rest for the allies.
Commenting on that statement, Patil said, "The small allies of BJP and Shiv Sena also have some mass base. If we want that base to vote for us, we need to give them some seats to contest."
He also indicated that more leaders from different parties are likely to join the BJP. "Don't be surprised to see one of the five state working presidents of the Congress joining the BJP in the coming days," he said. Balasaheb Thorat was on Saturday appointed as the president of the Congress's Maharashtra unit. The party also appointed Nitin Raut, Baswaraj M Patil, Vishwajeet Kadam, Yashomati Chandrakant Thakur, and Muzaffer Hussain as its five working presidents.
Updated Date: Jul 17, 2019 19:17:09 IST