Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Sympathy wave for Uddhav Thackeray, Sarath Pawar: Sagan Bhujpal

The NCP chief said that people want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to form a strong government.

It won't be easy for the NDA in Maharashtra when it won 41 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 and 2019 as a sympathy wave swept in favor of Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar. Bhujpal said.

In an exclusive interview with NDTV on Saturday, Mr Bhujpal opened up about his decision to withdraw from the Nashik Lok Sabha seat and shared his thoughts on whether the NDA's slogan is to win 400 seats.This time the price is 400 pairsIt has convinced voters that the Constitution will be amended.

Maharashtra's already interesting politics became more complicated in 2022 when Eknath Shinde and a group of MLAs staged a rebellion, which led to the fall of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Akadi government. Mr Shinde joined the BJP as Chief Minister, splitting the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena into two.

A year later, a similar script played out in the Sarath Pawar-led NCP, when his nephew Ajit Pawar split the party and joined hands with the BJP to become deputy chief minister. In the Maharashtra political landscape, now two Shiv Sena and two NCP – with very similar but different names – are competing against each other.

When Mr Bhujpal, who led the NCP rebellion with Ajit Pawar, was asked about its impact on the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, he said in Hindi, “I believe there is a sympathy wave – Thackeray's Shiv Sena split in Uddhav Way in 2014 and 2019 and it doesn't look like a section of the NCP lost their rallies.

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In those two Lok Sabha elections, the BJP contested in alliance with the undivided Shiv Sena and the parties won 23 and 18 seats respectively.

„However, people's faith is still on Narendra Modi and they want him to form a strong government,” he added.

The Maharashtra minister got a bit emotional when asked about the rivalry between his daughter Supriya Sule and Ajit Pawar's wife Sunetra in Sarath Pawar's stronghold of Baramati.

„I am also sad, people who have lived together in the same house for so many years… something happens that many people don't like… whose fault is another matter. But. It would have been great if this had not happened,” he said.

A slogan to hurt DMK?

Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Mr Bhujpal, said that the NDA was demanding 400 seats because it wanted to amend the Constitution and whether the slogan „Up Ki Par 400 Par” had hurt the NDA alliance. The opposition campaign has been strong on this, and people think that this is a constitutional amendment.

But Prime Minister Modi has repeatedly said that the Constitution is strong and even BR Ambedkar cannot change it. ,” he added.

Withdrawal from competition

Nashik is one of the most contentious constituencies as the BJP, Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena and Ajit Pawar's NCP try to work out a seat-sharing arrangement. The candidate is yet to be announced and a tussle seems to be brewing between the coalition parties, with BJP president Pankaja Munde and Chief Minister Shinde making conflicting comments.

Mr Bhujpal said he did not ask for a ticket and that other leaders in the NCP had told him during Holi that he would contest in Nashik. This was communicated to him after a late-night meeting between the alliance parties in Delhi where each party will be discussed on a one-by-one basis instead of constituencies.

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The minister said Mr Shinde also wanted Shiv Sena's seat and agreed to contest as Nashik was his base and he and his son were MLAs from there. His nephew Sameer Bhujpal was also an MP.

Mr. Bhujpal, who claimed that he had received a lot of support from people for the development work he had done, said he was surprised that his name had not been announced after three weeks in office.

„When Narayan Rane's name was announced (for Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg), I thought it wasn't mine and they don't want to do it. That's when I said I don't want to fight from the seat. I knew I didn't like asking (Shiva Sena founder) Paul Thackeray for a ticket to the Mumbai Municipal Corporation in 1970,” he said. remembered.

After that I was also involved in ticket distribution. So I thought it was not right to wait so long. So I got depressed and decided not to compete.

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