Taking a dig at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said the speeches made by the former will eventually help the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance win more votes in assembly elections.
Speaking at a rally at Pusad in Yavatmal district, the chief minister said Mr Gandhi joined the campaign "unwillingly" in view of Congress leader Salman Khurshid's remarks.
Mr Khurshid had said the Congress had failed to carry out a detailed analysis of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, as Mr Gandhi, the then president of the party, "walked away".
"The Congress had won 42 seats in 2014 state assembly elections in Maharashtra. Knowing well that his party will not win more than 24 seats this time, Rahul was unwilling to campaign and instead had gone abroad," the chief minister said.
"Congress leader Salman Khurshid recently said that party leaders ran away at the time of putting up a fight. Now, Gandhi has come and speaking the same old things," the chief minister said, referring to Gandhi raking up issues like Rafale deal, GST, demonetisation in his rallies held on Sunday.
These issues were raised by Mr Gandhi and the Congress in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP had won a massive mandate while the Congress fell by the wayside.
"More Rahul Gandhi speaks, the votes of the BJP-Sena will keep rising," the chief minister said.
Continuing his war of words with NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Mr Fadnavis said, unlike the past practice of funds for farmers getting "siphoned off by middlemen", the money is now directly deposited into their bank accounts under the BJP rule.
The BJP is contesting 164 out of the total 288 seats in alliance with smaller parties for the October 21 assembly elections. Its principal ally, Shiv Sena is fighting in 124 constituencies under the "Maha Yuti" or grand-alliance.