BJP chief Amit Shah has set a target of winning at least 45 out of 48 Lok Sabha seats for the party in Maharashtra. Addressing party workers in Pune, Mr Shah said the Baramati stronghold of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar should be among the 45 seats that the BJP must take.
“In Maharashtra, if our alliance wins less than 45 seats, it will not be deemed a victory,” Mr Shah told party workers at a review meeting for three constituencies in the district – Pune, Baramati and Shirur.
While the Shiv Sena and BJP had contested the last Lok Sabha elections together, it is not yet clear whether the alliance would continue this time.
“I want my party workers to win me 45 seats from the state, and to achieve that we will have to win the Baramati seat. If we win Baramati, the number 45 can be achieved,” Mr Shah said.
Baramati, Mr Pawar’s home turf, is currently represented by his daughter Supriya Sule.
“Not a single seat should go to the people who were involved in corruption in Maharashtra… not a single seat should be left to the people who talk about human rights of immigrants,” the BJP president said.
State BJP chief Raosaheb Danve expressed confidence that they would win 43 seats, one more than in 2014.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the BJP was ready to fight elections alone. “We are ready to fight on all 48 seats with full strength… the 43rd seat Danve talks about is Baramati,” he said.
Last time, Rashtriya Samaj Paksh leader Mahadev Jankar, an NDA ally, lost from Baramati by a small margin, he said, adding, “Had there been the lotus symbol, we would have won Baramati. This time we will not make that mistake. Our candidate will fight on the party symbol.”