- Telangana CM called on Uddhav Thackeray NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai today
- Rao and Thackeray said change is the need of the hour
Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Sunday asserted that even if the Shiv Sena, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and other parties come together to form a third front at the national level, there is no threat to the NDA as people are happy under the Narendra Modi-led government. He also expressed confidence that the BJP will win the 2024 national elections and the ongoing Assembly polls in five states.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who also heads the TRS, on Sunday called on his Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai and later also met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar. The meetings were part of efforts to bring together like-minded parties against the BJP at the national level. Addressing a joint press conference after their two-hour meeting, Rao and Thackeray said change is the need of the hour.
Talking to reporters in Pune about this development, Athawale said, "Even if Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao met Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, and held talks about forming a third front, there is no threat to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)."
"We are working under the leadership of Narendra Modi and people are happy. Even if the Shiv Sena and other parties form a third front, it will not affect us. In 2024, BJP will again come to power. In five states, where elections are currently on, we will win," he said.
Just like the BJP had won 282 seats in 2014 and 303 seats in 2019, the party will bag 404 seats in the 2024 polls, he said. In Punjab also, BJP will come to power, he said. The RPI(A) leader was in Pune to attend various programmes. On the allegations and counter-allegations between the leaders of the ruling Shiv Sena and the opposition BJP in Maharashtra, the union minister of state for social justice and empowement said the verbal duel between the two parties should stop now.
"I will talk to Uddhav Thackeray about the verbal war going on between Shiv Sena and BJP. We have been friends and parted ways only recently. But we should again come together to rule the state and share the chief minister's post for equal number of years. If Shiv Sena shares power with BJP, then the government can get more funds and carry out development in the state in a better way," Athawale said.
Meanwhile, the Congress in Maharashtra said it welcomed the efforts of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to forge an anti-BJP front but cautioned that such an initiative by regional parties cannot be successful without the Congress party which is the "only alternative" to the ruling BJP.
"Rao's efforts to form an anti-BJP front are welcome. But without Congress, such efforts will neither be complete nor become successful," Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole told reporters. He also said that the Congress-led UPA (United Progressive Alliance) was the only alternative to BJP.