- Can't Say
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union minister Nitin Gadkari has surpassed leaders from his party and rival parties by addressing a record 104 rallies in the campaign for the Maharashtra Assembly. Gadkari has blasted the Congress and NCP over corruption charges and equally sold Prime Minister Narendra Modi's development agenda.
Former Deputy Chief Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar came second with 80 rallies. Ajit has targeted former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for policy paralysis and also for clearing files of Rs 12,000-crore projects in the last two months before the announcement of the poll dates. He also criticised Modi for his repeated criticism on Maharashtra losing its pre-eminence.
Modi addressed 27 rallies — about three to five rallies a day. However, he attracted maximum attention. He hit out against the Congress and NCP for their corrupt rule and appealed to voters to give a comfortable majority to the BJP for a strong government in Maharashtra.
Over 8.33 crore voters will exercise their franchise to elect 288 representatives from over 4,000 candidates in fray. Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee President Manikrao Thakre addressed 70 meetings. Thakre, who succeeded to get his son Rahul party nomination from Yavatmal seat, hopes the Congress to form the government fourth time in a row.
BJP's leader of opposition in the state council Vinod Tawde, who is one of the frontrunners for the chief minister's post, also addressed 70 rallies. NCP chief and former Union minister Sharad Pawar, 74, addressed 55 rallies. Pawar led a scathing attack against Modi for giving too much focus on the Assembly poll than national security. He also blamed the Congress for breaking the 15-year-old alliance.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray addressed 50 meetings despite his health problems. Uddhav has ruled out the possibility of a post-poll alliance with the BJP.
Chavan, who addressed 40 rallies, claimed that Ajit Pawar's ambition to become chief minister led to the Congress-NCP split. Chavan is facing a tough challenge in his home turf south Karhad where seven-time legislator Vilaskaka Patil is pitted against him as an independent.
State BJP chief Devendra Fadnavis addressed 40 meetings. Similarly, state NCP chief Sunil Tatkare, former public works minister Chhagan Bhujbal, NCP MP and Sharad Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule addressed 40 rallies each.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi held four meetings, while her son and party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi six rallies.