Days after the collapse of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government and the formation of the Shinde-Fadnavis government in Maharashtra, BJP, which plays second fiddle in the new government, has decided to focus on NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s bastion Baramati in a serious bid to win the seat in 2024 Lok Sabha elections. As a part of party’s Mission 45, the BJP has assigned Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman a major role to focus on Baramati and coordinate with party workers to further tighten its grip to defeat Pawars in their stronghold. At present, NCP leader and Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule represents Baramati constituency.
As a beginning, Sitharaman will visit Baramati parliamentary constituency and from August 16 to 18 and extensively travel in Baramati, Indapur, Daund, Purandar, Khadakwasla and Bhor assembly constituencies. Sitharaman will hold interactive meetings with the party workers and review the booth-wise status of the party organisation.
A senior state BJP leader told the Free Press Journal, ‘’BJP since its formation in 1980 has not won Baramati seat as it has been held by Pawars. However, the central leadership has decided to focus on Baramati to defeat them. This is part of the party’s Mission 45 strategy and also the part of its move to cross 350 seats in the next general elections across the country. A high profile leader and finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s visit has been planned to activate party’s poll machinery and consolidate its position ahead of next Lok Sabha elections.’’ He said that former minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, party legislators Ram Shinde and Rahul Kul along with other office bearers will hold a meeting on August 9 in Baramati to make preparations for Sitharaman’s visit.
The BJP leader said Sitharaman will visit various projects that come up through central funding and also meet the beneficiaries. ‘’Sitharaman will project the benefits of various central projects launched during Modi 2.0 and the BJP’s Sabha Sath Sabka Vishwas model to checkmate Pawar’s Baramati’s development pattern,’’ he added.