BJP Will Back Allies’ Candidates Only if They Support PM Modi, Says Fadnavis

Pune: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said the BJP would back candidates of allies who support Prime Minister Narendra Modi but added that his party had capable candidates to field if this was not the case.

Without naming bickering ally Shiv Sena, Fadnavis said only candidates who support Modi would go to Parliament in next year’s general polls.

The Sena, a constituent of BJP-led governments here and at the Centre, has often attacked Modi over various issues.

Fadnavis, who was addressing a rally in Pimpri Chinchwad, said some people had questioned whether this rally was a preparation for next year’s Lok Sabha polls for Maval and Shirur seats and if it signalled the end of the alliance with the Sena.

Maval and Shirur Lok Sabha seats are currently held by the Sena’s Shrirang Barne and Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil respectively.

“I want to make it clear that this rally is not against any particular party. However, our stand is clear that only those candidates who will support Modi ji will go to Parliament. If out allies show support for Modi ji, we have no problem supporting their candidates,” Fadnavis told the gathering.

In a message to the Sena about the BJP’s readiness to go it alone in the two seats, Fadnavis, pointing to posters of party MLAs Laxman Jagtap and Mahesh Landage at the rally venue, said, “If you are not ready to support Modi ji, we have capable candidates who can represent these seats in Parliament.”

“To make Modi ji the prime minister in 2019 is the need of the entire country as we require a strong leadership,” he added.

Fadnavis also challenged the opposition Congress and NCP to have a public debate on the development work done during their tenure and that of his government.

“I am sure our work will be better than yours. If we are not better, we will not contest elections again,” Fadnavis claimed.

He accused the Congress-NCP of “making a fortune” under the name of irrigation schemes while his government had implemented Jalyukt Shivar and taken irrigation facilities to the farms.

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