Though BJP-led ruling alliance managed to retain power in Maharashtra, the assembly election results declared on Thursday are blow to the BJP. The party could not improve its tally from last assembly elections and won only 105 seats compared to 122 seats in 2014. BJP’s sitting minister Pankaja Munde lost election from Parli seat. Its alliance partner Shiv Sena also won fewer seats than that of last assembly polls. But in present circumstances, the Sena is in strong position to bargain hard. Sena has given indications of sharing chief minister’s chair for equal tenure of 2.5 years. Thus, simple majority of ruling alliance in 288 member Maharashtra Assembly has given a shot in arm for Shiv Sena which will be king maker in the state. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said that 50-50 formula was fixed regarding Chief Minister and we will not bow down to it. Senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut also said that BJP and Shiv Sena will form government in Maharashtra. He said that there will be no change on pre-fixed 50-50 formula. In Satara Lok Sabha bypoll, BJP candidate Udayanraje Bhosale lost the election to NCP’s Shriniwas Patil. Counting of votes for bypolls to 51 assembly seats and two Lok Sabha constituencies also took place on Thursday.
When our correspondent Nikhil Sagare spoke to Congress chief spokesperson Ratnakar Mahajan he said, “Elections are not contested on one issue. Media had written about the demise of Congress and had given publicity to BJP. Situation is different in every state. In Haryana BJP was expecting to win 50 seats and in Maharashtra they were expecting to win 220 seats. Kharge, Jyotiraditya Shinde, Shatrughan Sinha and Rahul Gandhi have campaigned for Congress in Maharashtra.”
On the other hand, after election results of Haryana, no party could win clear majority. Amid neck to neck fight, the ruling BJP has been single largest party and the Congress also revived it and got second position. As Haryana headed for hung assembly, great grandson of ex-deputy PM Devi Lal and Jannayak Janata Party chief Dushyant Chautala emerged as king maker in the state. Both BJP and Congress have approached Dushyant Chautala to form new government in Haryana.
National President of Women’s Wing, Nationalist Mahila Congress Dr Fouziya Khan said, “I salute Pawarsaab who at the age of 80 has lead from the front to take his party forward. Even though many leaders have quit NCP but party’s performance did not decline. Both Pawar and Jayant Patil have done hard work.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “People of Maharashtra have blessed the NDA with immense affection. We are humbled to have got the people’s support yet again. Our work towards Maharashtra’s progress continues! I salute each and every Karyakarta of the BJP, Shiv Sena and our entire NDA family for their hardwork.” BJP acting president JP Nadda also thanked the people of Maharashtra for the victory.
Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said, “People have given mandate to the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance. Both the parties will form government and will perform better work. Both parties should have won more seats.”
CM Devendra Fadnavis said that it is historic victory, the first time a government and a CM have come to power again in the history of Maharashtra. He indicated that he would retain the top post. In order to counter Sena’s bargaining intention CM claimed that 15 rebels are in touch with him and that the number may go up. Fadnavis said, “I thank the people of Maharashtra for giving a clear mandate to the ‘mahayuti’ (BJP-Sena alliance). No doubt the next government will be ours.”
BJP spokesperson Vishwas Pathak said, “The results have arrived as per our expectation. We had kept a target to win more than 200 seats. Our performance has affected due to 20 rebels but they will join us once again.”
In Maharashtra, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is the only party which improved its tally from the 2014 assembly polls. The NCP won 53 seats. This victory of NCP has made party president Sharad Pawar still relevant in the politics of Maharashtra. Buoyant with poll results, Sharad Pawar said that people have rejected BJP’s claims of crossing the 220-seat-mark. Buoyed by NCP’s performance, Sharad Pawar addressed a press conference and said, “The opposition has worked hard. All members of Congress-NCP and allies have delivered and given their best. Power comes, power goes but it is important to remain committed to a cause and we thank people for the love they showed.” On being asked about sealing a deal with Shiv Sena, he said that the NCP will not forge an alliance with Shiv Sena. It is against NCP’s policy. The NCP had won only 41 seats in 2014. The Congress has won 46 seats in state.
- Total seats-288