The BJP-Shiv Sena combine is set to rule Maharashtra once again, on the back of a historic return for the NDA alliance. For the first time in the state’s history, an NDA government and its chief minister will return for a second consecutive term.
But the BJP-Sena’s tea is a little less sweet this time.
The saffron has unfurled in Maharashtra, but not as high as it did in 2014. The alliance that had projected ‘ab ki baar 220 paar’ as a slogan has not managed to cross even 200.
Compared to BJP-Sena’s 2014 tally in Maharashtra, the numbers don’t favour the alliance as much this time around. Here are a few key takeaways and surprises from Maharsahtra election results:
1. Shiv Sena Yields More Power in NDA Alliance
The BJP needs the Sena more this time around, than in 2014, since the saffron party’s numbers have declined, meaning the Sena holds more bargaining power. Some Sena leaders have already started touting a ’50-50 power share formula’ and the chances of a Sena leader being deputy CM have also become stronger.
2. Trouble at Home
Looking at the numbers of the Vidarbha region, the BJP has managed way lesser seats compared to the 44 it won in 2014. In the Nagpur region, from where CM Fadnavis and Nitin Gadkari hail, the BJP lost at least 4-5 of the 12 seats. It appears that the decision to keep Gadkari away from decison-making and campaigning has cost the BJP in Vidarbha.
3. Jolt in Marathwada
BJP’s performance in Marathwada can be gauged from Pankaja Munde’s loss. Though the BJP has never been as big in the region, reported infighting can be cited as one of the major reasons for the party’s dismal performance in the region.
4. Sharad Pawar: Tallest Oppn Leader
They say, don’t rule out Pawar from India’s politics until he himself decides to do so. On the back of NCP’s strong showing this time around, with the Congress as its ally, Pawar emerged as the only face of the Opposition in the state.
5. Congress’ Worst Performance
Once considered invincible in the state, the Congress has been relegated to a distant fourth on the back of its worst performance in the state – trailing the BJP, Sena and the NCP. However, many of its prominent leaders, like Prithviraj Chavan, Ashok Chavan and Vilasrao Deshmukh two sons, Amit and Dhiraj, were able to retain their seats.
6. Raj Thackeray Saves Face
In a tactical understanding, Raj Thackeray reached out to Sharad Pawar in a bid to revive his party. But despite NCP’s tacit support, the MNS won just one seat this time, the same as 2014, raising serious doubts over Raj’s political future.
7. Ambedkar’s Dismal Performance
Prakash Ambedkar’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi contested on all 288 seats for the first time but failed to make a dent. Despites raising issues afflicting minorities in the state, the party was unable to translate its support into votes.
8: Shivaji’s Bypoll Loses Result
Udayan Raje Bhosle, the former NCP strongman jumped ship to the BJP to contest the Lok Sabha bypolls. The BJP saw this as a way to get the Maratha votes in the region, but that clearly didn’t go down well with the voters. Bhosle ended up losing the Satara Lok Sabha seat.