Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Wednesday said the priority of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is to ensure that it wins maximum seats in the state and the country in the next year's Lok Sabha elections. He was speaking to reporters after inaugurating an office of his Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) here.
Ajit Pawar and eight MLAs of his NCP joined the ruling Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by Eknath Shinde on July 2. This led to a split in the NCP founded by his uncle and veteran politician Sharad Pawar.
Replying to a question on the occasion, he said, "The NDA's first priority is to ensure that it wins the maximum number of seats in the state and the country in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The alliance partners are currently working on this and only after that they will turn their attention to the state assembly polls (due in October/November 2024)."
"Strong candidates would be selected by parties as candidates...Our aim is to defeat the rival parties," he said. "We will now now work towards getting 'janadhar' (public support) and gaining the confidence of citizens," he added.
When asked about the remarks made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union minister Amit Shah on various issues, he said was not competent enough to comment about their views.
"I am not here to comment on the statements of the national leaders. I am interested in the state issues and want to solve the problems. I am just a 'karyakarta' (political worker) from the state and want to work for the state to ensure its development...I just want to concentrate on the state," Pawar said.
He expressed hope that under the leadership of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, the state will achieve development. When asked about politicians, who change their views after switching over from the opposition parties to the ruling parties, he said he was not interested in levelling allegations and counter-allegations and wants to devote his time towards the development of the state.
"The opposition can level allegations and criticise, but the fact is that implementation of projects can only be done by being in power," he said. The deputy CM said that through the 'Shasan Aplya Dari' programme, more than 1.25 crore people were benefited in the state, he said.