BJP national president Amit Shah on Thursday launched the party's campaign for the assembly elections, calling it the second phase of Congress-free India movement to be started from Maharashtra.
Modi confidant Shah accused the Congress-NCP government of cheating the people of Maharashtra in the past 15 year and dragging the state backwards. "Congress gave nothing to the people except scams, unemployment, load-shedding, farmers suicide, closure of industries and anarchy in governance. It's now for people to give them back."
Exhorting party colleagues to work hards in the days to come, Shah said they must ensure that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's message of development reaches every home. "No political environment can be created, no leader can bring change with his speeches unless each party worker decides to reach the voter. All of us have to work with aggression."
Emphasising on the saffron alliance's unprecedented show in Lok Sabha elections, Shah said BJP can sweep out the clean sweep Congress from each state. "And that will be achieved from Maharashtra. Start working towards that goal and victory will be of Mahayuti."
During his address Shah strategically named Balasaheb Thackeray as part of a pantheon of icons from Maharashtra likening him to Mahatma Phule and Sant Tukaram, in his bid to reach out to the Sena. He also called on workers to strive towards victory without bothering about issues like seat sharing.
BJP's state unit chief Devendra Fadnavis gave his mantra to party workers in the state: "Chhatrapatincha ashirwad, chalo chale Modi ke saath. Now we will have to work towards uprooting the Congress-NCP government which has not only cheated people but also amassed public money."
Vinod Tawde, leader of opposition in the assembly, said Thursday marked an important day as the party had kick-started its campaign. Other leaders like Ashish Shelar, Mumbai BJP president, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Eknath Khadse, Pankaja Munde attended the event.
Earlier, Shah received a grand welcome at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. He addressed party workers there too.