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LS poll: Maha BJP chief Danve files nomination from Jalna

Sitting MP and Maharashtra BJP chief Raosaheb Danve Tuesday filed his nomination from Jalna for the April-May Lok Sabha polls.

Among those who were present while Danve filed his nomination papers were chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union minister Ramdas Athawale, Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagde and Maharashtra minister and Shiv Sena leader Arjun Khotkar.

Incidentally, Jalna Lok Sabha seat was at the centre of a bitter fight between Danve, who has represented it since 1999, and Khotkar who wanted the Sena to allow him to take on the former.

The issue was defused after several rounds of talks between top BJP and Sena leaders saw Khotkar withdrawing his demand and publicly stating that he would help Danve in his re-election bid.

Speaking at a rally after Danve had filed his nomination, Fadnavis said, "Khotkar is like his namesake from the Mahabharata, He was going over to the Kauravas (apparent reference to Congress) before Uddhav Thackeray like Lord Krishna won him over and brought him back to the Pandavas (the BJP-Sena alliance)."

The Maharashtra CM also took the opportunity to tear into the Congress manifesto which was released in Delhi on Tuesday.

Among other things, the Congress manifesto promises a sum of Rs 72,000 each to five crore poor families under the 'Nyay' scheme, filling up 22 lakh government vacancies, bringing a separate budget for farmers and fixing a single moderate GST rate.

Calling it an "April Fools' joke", Fadnavis said the Congress came up with the "garibi hatao" (banish poverty) slogan every time polls were round the corner.

However, the Congress, in the last 50 years, had only managed to remove the poverty of its own leaders and not of the masses, Fadnavis said mocking the manifesto.

Athawale said the Congress was indulging in caste politics and claimed he was defeated from the Shirdi Lok Sabha seat in the 2009 polls due to the machinations of the NCP-Congress.

He added that his differences with the BJP, over his Republican Party of India (A) not being given a single seat by the saffron alliance, had now been ironed out.