Kankavli: Claiming that he was among the contenders for the top post if the party came to power in Maharashtra, Congress leader Narayan Rane suggested that the party's poll advertisements do not project Prithviraj Chavan as the chief ministerial candidate.
Rane said the main contest in the October 15 Assembly polls is between his party and the BJP.
"Shiv Sena and NCP are nowhere in the picture. Congress is expected to do well and form the next government," Rane told reporters at Kankavli town in Sindhudurg district.
Asked about the party's poll advertisements prominently featuring Prithviraj Chavan and virtually projecting him as the chief ministerial candidate, Rane said the ads depict Chavan when he was in office and not as CM candidate.
To a question if he was the chief ministerial candidate, he said, "Of course...I am."
However, he said the decision in this regard would be taken by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Rane, the Congress's poll campaign committee chief, is contesting the Assembly poll from Kudal seat in Sindhudurg.
Earlier, addressing a public meeting in Vaibhavwadi taluka, Rane said BJP can never come to power in the state.
He accused the BJP of spreading falsehoods about the state through its election ads.
"These was a conspiracy to belittle Maharashtra's stature and Mumbai's importance," he alleged and added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was trying to achieve now what Morarji Desai could not do in the 60s (separate Mumbai from Maharashtra).
Rane said the Prime Minister will not be able to save BJP from defeat.
"He has forgotten all promises he made in the Lok Sabha election campaign," he said.
"Yesterday was the 51st time Pakistan violated ceasefire ... Still Modi is quiet," he said adding that on the price rise front, too, Modi government was a failure.
Rane also said the Chipi airport in Sindhudurg would be functional from next year. The Dodamarg MIDC would generate employment for 50,000 people.
Reacting to allegations made against Congress by BJP in its poll campaign, he said, "BJP should tell which industries have shifted out of the state and how many farmers have committed suicide?"
"There are 12 ministers in Modi government who have criminal cases against them. There are rape charges against the son of Railways Minister Sadananda Gowda. Did the minister resign?" he asked.