Maharashtra polls: Whether BJP can translate advantage into clear majority is the key question

Congress is leaderless in the state and yet there are no signs of it shedding its old ways of factionalism and infighting, while NCP is worst hit with turncoats after the Lok Sabha polls.

Published: 21st September 2019 12:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st September 2019 01:10 PM   |  A+A-

Thackeray_and_Fadnavis

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. (Photo | File/ PTI)

Express News Service

MUMBAI: With no visible change in the mood of people from the Lok Sabha elections, the biggest question on the way to assembly election is whether the BJP would be able to translate its advantage into numbers to gain an absolute majority in Maharashtra.

Congress is leaderless in the state and yet there are no signs of it shedding its old ways of factionalism and infighting. The party has taken a lead in finalizing candidates and all its senior leaders too are likely to be made to contest assembly seats.

While these measures may help elevate the mood of the cadres, that is unlikely to lead to any miracle for the party that could win only one Lok Sabha seat from the state.

The NCP is worst hit with turncoats after the Lok Sabha polls.

However, Sharad Pawar has started leading the battle from the front. The octogenarian leader is trying hard to develop new leadership at all the places where his satraps have deserted him.

In a way, the assembly election would be crucial for Pawar’s political life.

VOTING PERCENTAGE OF PROMINENT PARTIES
Party  2014  2009
BJP  27.81% 14.02%
Shiv Sena 19.35% 16.26%
Congress 17.95% 21.01%
NCP 17.24% 16.37%
MNS  3.15% 5.71%
PWP  1.01% 1.11%
AIMIM  0.93% 0.02%
CPM  0.39% 0.60%
SP  0.17%  0.74%
NOTA  0.91%  -

The party was able to maintain its tally of 4 in the Lok Sabha elections. But, it is unlikely to be able to do the same with its assembly tally of 41.

Adv Prakash Ambedkar’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) and Owisi’s AIMIM had given a good alternative to the people of the state during Lok Sabha polls.

However, the recent fissures within the alliance put up a question mark on its performance.

Raj Thackeray’s MNS was another non-playing partner of the opposition in Lok Sabha polls. However, the party is still undecided whether to contest the polls. The delay may cost the party dearly.

Shiv Sena is strong in Konkan as usual. Its policy of playing the opposition while being in power appears to have placed it distinctly different from the BJP. However, all the surveys of the mood of people have shown that it would gain the most if it ties the knot with the BJP.

2014 MAHARASHTRA ASSEMBLY RESULTS + BYE-POLLS
BJP  122 (-1)
Shiv Sena 63 (-1)
Independents 7
RSP 1
BVA  3 (-1)
MNS  1 (-1)
Congress  42 (- 9)
NCP  41 (- 11)
PWP  3
BBMS  1
CPM 1
SP  1  
AIMIM  2 (-1)

Party leadership too is aware of the fact and hence it wanted to get assurance for assembly before tying up with BJP before Lok Sabha polls. But, BJP didn’t get into the trap and both are now bargaining hard to have an upper hand.

BJP had won 122 assembly seats in 2014. This time the party wants to ensure that it crosses the halfway mark of 144.

The party may even decide to sever ties with the Shiv Sena to achieve the goal so that it won’t have to face embarrassment over crucial projects like the Greenfield refinery at Nanar or the Metro depot at Aarey dairy land.

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