Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Saturday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi would certainly win the 2024 general election as the opposition has failed to decide on a leader.
Speaking at ‘Shasan Aplya Dari’ (government at your doorstep) program, he also said that NCP leader Ajit Pawar joining the Shiv Sena-BJP government in the state will make it “faster”.
“We have 200 MLAs and MPs with us (in Maharashtra). There will be no discrimination. Injustice will not be done to anyone,” Mr Shinde said.
Even though opposition leaders are trying to come together to defeat PM Modi in the next Lok Sabha elections, they could not decide on a leader, he said, adding, “This has made PM Modi’s victory certain.”
Ajit Pawar too has reposed faith in PM Modi’s leadership now, Mr Shinde said, adding that the Prime Minister is receiving praise wherever he goes.
PM Modi got the chance to address the US Congress twice and recently France’s highest honour was conferred on him, the Shiv Sena leader said.
“With Ajit Pawar’s inclusion, the state government will become faster and decisions will be taken quicker,” he said, referring to Mr Pawar joining the government as Deputy Chief Minister on July 2.
Works such as the Metro project in Mumbai and Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Expressway had come to a halt earlier, but his government “removed the speed-breakers”, Mr Shinde said.
The government launched the ‘Shasan Aplya Dari’ program as it wanted to end red-tapism, and people are getting necessary documents, certificates and benefits of various government schemes under one roof through this initiative, the Chief Minister said.
“Power is not meant for sitting at home but for going among the people and implementing it. I will not speak about those sitting at home. Pawar Saheb (Sharad Pawar) has written about it in his book. People force those who work from home to sit at home,” Mr Shinde said, in an apparent swipe at his predecessor Uddhav Thackeray.
He also praised Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, saying the BJP leader was his “good friend and a person with a big heart”.
“He was Chief Minister earlier and we had worked together. Despite that he has become the Deputy Chief Minister and I am the Chief Minister. Now he has accepted another Deputy Chief Minister (Ajit Pawar). And yet some people term him ‘Kalank (blot)’. In fact, he is ‘nishkalank (one without any blot)’ politician,” Mr Shinde said.
Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray had recently termed Mr Fadnavis a ‘kalank’ or blot on Nagpur, triggering a war of words.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)