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RSS stands by Fadnavis, wants him to steer govt till Maharashtra poll

NAGPUR: A day after Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis offered to resign assuming moral responsibility for BJP’s electoral defeat in the state, RSS office-bearers came calling at his Nagpur residence, where a closed-door meeting continued for nearly two hours.
Top Sangh sources confirmed the huddle at the deputy CM’s residence Thursday but called it a courtesy visit.

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Senior RSS functionary Atul Limaye was part of the meeting, which party insiders claimed revolved around Fadnavis’s offer to quit and Sangh’s clear advice to him to stay put and steer the state govt till assembly elections as his exit would send a negative signal to voters. Sources said the electoral setbacks and strategies for upcoming elections were also discussed by Sangh members.

Earlier, Fadnavis touched down in Nagpur with BJP state chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule, greeted supporters and headed home, leaving Bawankule to address waiting reporters at the airport. After the post-noon huddle with Sangh representatives at his residence, the deputy CM took off for New Delhi.
At the airport, Bawankule told reporters the party has requested Fadnavis to remain in his position even though it was natural for him to feel disappointed after BJP’s poor showing. “The opposition’s false narrative had confused voters. The INDIA alliance has nothing to show on development, they misled voters by creating fear of change in the Constitution if BJP returned to office. Now, they are not blaming EVMs as they usually do when they lose. Voters will not tolerate lies and politics of casteism and will vote for development,” he said.

Lauding Fadnavis, Bawankule said, “His developmental efforts, both as chief minister and deputy CM, cannot be disregarded. He implemented all the welfare schemes launched by Prime MinistNarendra Modi’s govt and ensured free ration to over 6.5 crore people and worked for farmers’ welfare. But voters were swayed by the opposition’s lies. The Maharashtra BJP unit feels Fadnavis’ leadership is crucial for countering the opposition’s misinformation campaign.”
BJP won only nine of 28