Express News Service
MUMBAI: In view of the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation election and the recent setbacks in local body polls, BJP’s central leadership has planned major organisational changes in the party’s Maharashtra unit.
According to BJP insiders, Devendra Fadnavis’ wings are set to be clipped. The party brass has elevated his rival Vinod Tawde as national general secretary. “Tawde, who was systematically sidelined by Fadnavis during his rule, has been given a fresh lease of life by the central leadership. Fadnavis had even denied him a ticket in the 2019 assembly elections. Tawde was all set to leave (the party) due to the humiliation, but finally decided to stay. His patience has paid of. It also shows that the process of downsizing Fadnavis has started,” said a senior BJP leader.
Another of the former CM’s bête noir, Chandrashekhar Bawankule, has been rehabilitated with the party nominating him for Legislative Council polls. The leader added that Fadnavis had been given a long rope by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, but now time had come to repair the damage.
There are also talks in the party about state BJP president Chandrakant Patil likely being replaced with a close confidant of Shah. Sources said Ashish Shelar had already given hints of his appointment to a major post. He was asked to tour the state and meet various sections of society and prominent BJP leaders as well.
“BJP leadership is worried about the party’s future in Maharashtra. The state sends 48 members to Parliament, the highest after Uttar Pradesh. The party cannot afford to ignore Maharashtra looking at the 2024 Lok Sabha polls and increasing anti-BJP sentiments due to inflation and other issues,” the leader said. Shah is personally consulting all prominent state leaders before making changes, he added.