Union Minister for MSMEs Narayan Rane today said that his party, the BJP, would return to power in Maharashtra by March 2022. Rane, now in Rajasthan on a two-day official visit, said he could not reveal more on the matter as of now.
“Maharashtra will see a change. It will happen in March,” the senior BJP leader said. “The strategy has to be kept under wraps. It cannot be made public. It will not go well with our top leadership if all details are out. Moreover, if things become public, it may delay the process of change in the state,” he explained.
“The chief minister is unwell and hospitalised. At such a time, I wouldn’t like to take his name. There is a clear instruction from our state party president Chandrakant Patil not to speak against the Maharashtra chief minister,” he said.
“The Maha Vikas Aghadi government, which is a coalition of three parties, Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena, has failed. It has not lived up to people’s expectations… In such a scenario, the return of BJP is evident. Whether the government will fall or some parties will break away from the coalition is part of details which cannot be discussed,” he said.
The remarks of Rane have invited sharp criticism from MVA leaders. Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole said, “We have been hearing such predictions for the last two years. But now it is clear that BJP leaders are lying. There is no substance in their prediction. The MVA government is strong and will complete its full five-year tenure.”
NCP spokesperson and Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik dismissed Rane’s remarks as baseless. “After the MVA was voted to power, we often saw Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis speaking with assertion on the change of guard in Maharashtra. He realised it is not going to happen, so he is quiet. Then we saw state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil stating the same, but nothing happened. He seems to be frustrated and tired. So Rane has come to the forefront, announcing the change of guard in the state. But it is just wishful thinking. In reality, there is no way the BJP can replace the MVA in the near future,” he said.
Transport Minister and Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab ridiculed Rane’s statement too. “I don’t take these predictions seriously. Rane is speaking without any substance,” he said.