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Now It Is A Face Off Between BJP And NCP In Maharashtra

The Sharad Pawar led Nationalist Congress Party’s aggressive posture has put the otherwise combative Bharatiya Janata Party on the defensive. NCP kept quiet despite repeated attacks by BJP leader Kirit Somaiya targeting party supremo Sharad Pawar, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and former home minister Anil Deshmukh over alleged corruption and various scams. NCP minister Nawab Malik has alleged collusion between BJP and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in the seizure of drugs on cruise liner, and the subsequent arrests. BJP party leaders like Pravin Darekar, Atul Bhatkhalkar, and Ashish Shelar Ram Kadam have dismissed Malik’s charges, but the allegations over the involvement of party office bearer Manish Bhanushali’s role in the ongoing saga continue. According to observers, “BJP cut a sorry figure after Bhanushali’s photos with PM, HM, former CM, party president were released on social media.” This is NCP’s attempt to make it amply clear that it has no plans to cosy up with BJP. Pawar has also made it clear that he will go all out to mobilize non BJP parties to counter BJP in 2024 polls. Clearly, BJP faces a tough challenge to revive its anti-corruption crusader image. Party insiders in Maharashtra admit that it is time BJP rejigs its strategy as merely criticising the Maha Vikas Aghadi will not garner votes. Is Devendra Fadnavis listening?