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Rallying cadre a challenge for BJP in Maharashtra and Haryana


NEW DELHI: Even while the BJP appears confident of winning 120 Assembly seats on its own in Maharashtra, the saffron outfit has the onerous task of rallying its workers, who appear miffed with the distribution of tickets. Similar reports are also pouring in from Haryana, where the workers are giving cold responses as they alleged that Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has been inaccessible in the past five years.

"There are a few factors which appear to be going against the BJP in Maharashtra. The party has given tickets to turncoats. This has angered hardworking BJP workers," said a senior BJP functionary.

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With the BJP having contested the 2014 Maharashtra Assembly elections, the party workers across the state had been nursing aspirations of bagging nominations to contest the 2019 polls, which was jolted after the saffron outfit agreed to contest on fewer seats than anticipated. "BJP workers who had been nursing constituencies in the hope that they would help elect BJP leaders from their respective regions now have been asked to support the allies. They are clear disappointment among the cadre," said another BJP functionary.

The BJP and smaller allies are contesting 164 Assembly seats, while Shiv Sena is in the contest in 124 constituencies. However, the BJP leaders remain confident that the opposition Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance wouldn’t be able to cash in on the negatives surrounding the NDA.

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"The fact that the Congress ignored working on the party infrastructure, which affected their electoral might, is evident. The organisational weakness in the opposition is working in the NDA’s favour. Still, the BJP will have to rally the party workers vigorously," added the BJP functionary. With the BJP giving tickets to a large number of turncoats, the party leaders noted that the ticket distribution could have been handled more tactfully.

Pawar, Shah slug it out over use of Article 370

Home Minister Amit Shah and NCP president Sharad Pawar sparred over BJP’s use of Article 370 as an issue in the Maharashtra polls. Pawar, addressing a rally at Hingna near Nagpur, said his party welcomed the abrogation, but the BJP was exploiting it to target Opposition. Retorting, Shah said his party will raise the issues concerning national security. "One cannot get votes by constantly raising Pulwama (terror attack), Article 370 issues. The article was abrogated in Parliament. Today, the leaders of the BJP are asking us our opinion about it," Pawar said at Hingna.