Shah also hit out at the Congress over its opposition to the scrapping of Article 370, saying other parties who came to power could never take the step. “Removing Article 370 was never about politics…it was about uniting the country…but Congress was against it. Rahul Gandhi was against removal of Artilce 370…he should clarify his stand.”
The electoral battle for Maharashtra and Haryana will see big names such as NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Shah address rallies today in an effort to shore up support ahead of the assembly elections. The two states will vote on October 21 while counting of votes will be done on October 24. While Shah will campaign in Haryana’s Kaithal, Pawar will address rallies in Akola and Washim.
In Maharashtra, Pawar and the BJP have been engaged in a war of words, specifically after the ED filed a money laundering case against him and his nephew in the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank (MSCB) scam. The NCP has dismissed it as a politically motivated move. “It is aimed at defaming opposition leaders ahead of the polls,” NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik alleged.
As for the BJP in the state, it finally reached a consensus with its ally Shiv Sena on seat sharing after months of wrangling. The distribution is 124 seats for Sena and two Vidhan Parishad setas, 14 for allies, and the rest — 150 — for BJP.
Though the parties have finalised an agreement, they still share a blow hot, blow cold relationship. The felling of trees in Aarey Colony has become a major flashpoint for the allies, with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray saying once in power, they would teach a lesson to the “murderers of Aarey”.
The Kankavli seat has also become a bone of contention as the two will be pitted against each other in the Kankavli seat. Kankavli is the seat from where the BJP fielded Nitesh Rane, son of former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane, against the wishes of the Sena. The Sena had given a ticket to Satish Sawant from the seat and did not withdraw his candidature till Monday, the last day to do so.
According to sources, Sena’s cadres were opposed to the move of BJP fielding Rane since he was given a ticket immediately after he left the Congress. Rane is the incumbent MLA from the Kankavli seat, which he had won in the 2014 Maharashtra elections on a Congress ticket.