Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Wednesday that opposition Congress and NCP have accepted defeat ahead of the Assembly polls, as seen by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s absence from campaign. He also said the Nationalist Congress Party is "half-empty", and will be emptied fully after the poll results are out on October 24.
"They are already in defeatist frame of mind. I read in newspapers that Rahul Gandhi is in Bangkok," Fadnavis said at a rally at Ner in Dhule district of north Maharashtra. "He knows they are going to lose anyway, so why take the blame for defeat? He is not ready to come here," Fadnavis said.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar was campaigning, but he too was aware that his party was “half-empty”, Fadnavis said, referring to exit of several leaders from the NCP in the run-up to the polls.
"The remaining half would be empty after the election. Yesterday (Congress veteran) Sushilkumar Shinde said we (Congress and NCP) are tired and will merge after the polls so that we have some strength to face the BJP-Shiv Sena," he said.
The chief minister also pooh-poohed the manifesto of the opposition, saying they made “all the promises in the world” as they were going to lose and would not have to fulfill them.
"The only promise that was not made is they will build a Taj Mahal for every person in Maharashtra," he quipped.
His government came out with the biggest farm loan waiver scheme ever which benefited 50 lakh farmers, Fadnavis said, adding that it will continue till the “last of the farmers gets waiver”.
His government did a better job than the previous Congress-NCP regime regarding construction of roads, providing drinking water, electricity, housing and healthcare facilities to the poor, the chief minister claimed. "I don’t claim we changed everything, but we have done a much better job than them," he said.
Fadnavis also hailed the Narendra Modi government at the Centre for abrogating the provisions of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.