Be ready for retaliation, CM tells party leaders

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has asked its legislators to gear up for a ‘retaliation’ from the Opposition parties following the exit poll’s prediction of a total sweep for the saffron alliance.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis held a meeting with party MLAs, ministers and senior leaders on Tuesday, directing them to prepare for an all-out assault from the Opposition in the run up to the Assembly polls. The meeting held at the BJP’s office at Dadar was to review the party’s performance in the Lok Sabha, assess the exit polls results, and prepare a strategy for the Assembly elections in October. On Monday, Mr. Fadnavis chaired a meeting of the party’s core committee on the same issues. “We have been told to keep our guard up, now that the Opposition is cornered it is expected they will hit back with a lot of false allegations. The party wants us to be prepared,” said an MLA.

Almost all exit polls have predicted a return for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA even as the counting of votes is due on May 23. The party has also directed MLAs to carry out a ‘service project’ in drought-affected region near their constituencies. “They MLAs will also visit the fodder camps, and assess availability of water supply in the drought-affected region,” said senior leader and State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar. Mr. Mungantiwar said the MLA has demanded changes in the government rules to allow them to spend part of their allocated funds on drought relief work. “We will make the necessary changes so that the MLAs can carry out the service project successfully,” he said.

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