THANE, Jan 27 (PTI): Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Friday said that in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will break all records and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will retain power with a thumping majority.
He was talking to reporters after attending the live screening of ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’ event addressed by PM Modi. Shinde saw the programme at the municipal school in Kisan Nagar locality of the city, where he had studied.
Stating that he was pleased to witness the ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’ programme in Thane, where he grew up, Shinde added that he was proud of being a civic school student.
Replying to a question on the results of a recent political survey conducted by a media house on the next year’s Lok Sabha polls, he said, “In the next general elections, PM Modi will break all records and the NDA will return to power with a thumping majority.”
Shinde said a survey conducted on just a handful of people does not give a true picture.
“They ignored the results of the recently-concluded gram panchayat elections, where the Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena (Shinde-led faction) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) performed very well,” he said.
“In politics, two plus two is not always four. A survey based on just a handful of people does not give the real picture…I have got the details of how many people were surveyed. I do not want to go into any figures,” he said.
In the two-and-a-half years before he became the chief minister, a “government with negativity” was in power, Shinde said while referring to the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Uddhav Thackeray.
But there is a government with positivity in the state now. There was dissatisfaction in the state during the previous government’s rule. But we launched several development works and changed the entire atmosphere in the state, he said.
“Now, even I will not be able to say as to who will join hands with whom and whose alliance will break apart. But the Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena and BJP have been doing good work and this is a government of the common man. People have already decided whom they will vote for and we understand people’s response,” he said.
“The survey said that the NDA government will come to power and that the popularity of PM Modi is increasing. Is it any different in Maharashtra?…We will be leading whenever elections are held. People of the state have already made up their mind. Hence, those who want to enjoy the opinion poll results for the next one-and-a-half years, let them enjoy,” he said.
We are not afraid of elections. Future itself will give replies to the predictions of the survey, he said.
During his visit to Thane city on Thursday, Shiv Sena (UBT) president and former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had alleged that the Sena and Maharashtra were defamed due to the “betrayal and defections” that took place, a reference to Shinde and 39 MLAs bringing down the MVA government
Replying to Thackeray’s remarks, Shinde said, “We give replies through our work. If you make two allegations, we will carry out four works. It will be our reply. People are not interested in allegations and counter-allegations.”
“When 50 MLAs, 13 MPs and several office-bearers of the party across the country and even close relatives deserted them, then they should have done soul searching and introspected. Instead of that, they are indulging in allegations. I wish them all the best,” he said.
Students from 968 schools, including 140 civic ones, in Thane witnessed the ‘Pariksha pe Charcha’ programme at their schools, BJP MLC and party’s Thane city district president Niranjan Davkhare said in a release.