No one from NCP in touch with us, says Maharashtra BJP chief Bawankule

No one from NCP in touch with us, says Maharashtra BJP chief Bawankule

By Press Trust of India: Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule on Thursday said no one from the Nationalist Congress Party is in touch with his party with the aim of joining it.

Amid speculation that NCP leader Ajit Pawar and some of his loyalist MLAs may join the BJP, Bawankule said he had no information about it.

“I do not know about Ajit Pawar. No one from the NCP is in contact with us. If someone wishes to join our party, the party flag and stole is ready,” he told reporters in Nagpur.

Incidentally, Ajit Pawar has denied such speculation and has claimed he would be with the NCP till he is alive.

Bawankule, however, said several functionaries (of various parties) are joining the BJP at the booth, tehsil and district levels, adding that some big names will join the party in the coming days.

Queried on Sharad Pawar’s announcement of stepping down as NCP chief, the Maharashtra BJP president said it was an internal matter of that party.

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“Pawar is a mature leader. He would listen to what his party members had to say. But we are not keen on what is happening in the NCP,” he said.

Asked about the possibility of a split in the NCP, Bawankule added, “It is an internal matter of the NCP. It is not good for the BJP to poke its nose into the internal matters of another party.” He also slammed Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray for criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s style of functioning as authoritarian.

“Thackeray is criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi because he is now in the opposition. We have his video clips where he has praised Modi,” he said.

Hitting out at the authoritarian charge, he said everyone knows how Thackeray treated former chief minister Narayan Rane, now with the BJP, and actor Kangana Ranaut (whose office faced civic corporation action after she attacked Thackeray).

Speaking on efforts to strengthen the BJP in the state, he said 1,500 persons have been appointed to various party posts and another 100 will be appointed in the coming days.

“The BJP will appoint coordinators for all 288 Maharashtra Assembly seats for better coordination with the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena,” Bawankule added.

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