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Video of Fadnavis' 'I will return' remark was posted by enthusiastic party worker, claims Maharashtra BJP chief

Palghar: A day after the Maharashtra BJP posted an old video of former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announcing that he will return to helm the state, the saffron party’s state unit President Chandrashekhar Bawankule claimed the video was posted by an ‘enthusiastic’ party worker and no wrong interpretation should be drawn out of it.

Talking to reporters on Friday, Bawankule also said that the upcoming Maharashtra elections would be fought under the leadership of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

He was on a tour of Palghar district as part of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s preparation for the Lok Sabha elections.

The Maharashtra BJP on Friday posted a four-year-old video of Fadnavis announcing that he will return to helm the state, prompting speculation in political circles.

“I will return for building a new Maharashtra,” the state BJP posted in the evening on social media platform X, along with the video. However, the post was deleted two hours later.

“Some enthusiastic party worker posted an old video of Maha Janadesh Yatra, where Devendra Fadnavis had said that he will return (to lead the state). Hence, there should be no misunderstanding about it,” he said.

“CM Shinde is and will be the chief minister of the state and the elections will be fought under his leadership. The central leadership as well as Devendra Fadnavis have said the same thing,” Bawankule said.

Before the Maharashtra assembly elections in 2019, Fadnavis, who was then the chief minister, had said, ‘Mi punha yein’ (I will return). The remarks had evoked many social media memes.

Fadnavis is now one of the two deputy chief ministers in Maharashtra, the other one being Ajit Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party’s rebel faction.

Talking about the Ram temple in Ayodhya, he said the BJP plans to take 10,000 people from Maharashtra for the darshan of Lord Ram.

He also said that out of the total 48 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra, he has so far toured 23 seats.

“From what I saw during the tour, I am confident that 45-plus candidates of the Mahayuti of 13 parties will surely get elected to the Lok Sabha, and Maharashtra will strongly support Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give him one more chance,” he added.

(Published 28 October 2023, 07:31 IST)

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