Union Minister Raosaheb Patil Danve took over as the new president of BJP’s Maharashtra unit, succeeding Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis under whose leadership the party came to power in the Assembly polls.
Fadnavis handed over the charge to Danve, the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, at the state BJP office, party spokesperson Madhav Bhandari told reporters.
Danve said, “BJP president Amit Shah has tasked us with enrolling one crore members as part of the party’s membership drive in Maharashtra and we will work to complete the task.”
He said he will soon resign as Union Minister after meeting senior party leaders, and focus on building the party organisation in the state, with the objective of making it “shat prati shat (total) BJP” in Maharashtra.
Asked if BJP will have an alliance with government partner Shiv Sena in the forthcoming local bodies elections, he said, “We have left that decision to the respective local BJP units. However, I wish to make it clear that BJP won’t ally with Congress and NCP.”
“There is no question of friendly contests. BJP and Sena are two different parties,” he said.
To a query on notes of dissent emerging from senior ministers like Eknath Khadse, Danve said, “There is no problem with the government and if at all any such issue arises, I am there to tackle it.”
The first priority as new state BJP chief would be to ensure relief to farmers in drought-affected Marathwada and Vidarbha, where the government has already declared a Rs 7,000-crore relief package, said Danve, who hails from Jalna in Marathwada region.
To a query on the formation of a separate Vidarbha state, he said, “BJP has always supported (formation of) small states. But we won’t politicise the issue as Congress did while forming Telangana.