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Palghar Ka Raja Kaun?

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Palghar Ka Raja Kaun lead AV

With the crucial by-poll election that was held on Monday, the Palghar Lok Sabha Constituency in Maharashtra has become a major battleground which is considered to be the semi-final fight among the ruling BJP, Shiv Sena and Congress for the upcoming 2019 elections. Its result on May 31 is seen as a hot seat tussle for the BJP-led NDA alliance in the state. Their long-time collaboration with Sena both in the state and the Centre has been put to a question as the Uddhav Thackeray-led party has fielded a candidate against BJP in Palghar. What trend will May 31’s poll verdict bring forth? Will it be a more widen crack within the BJP-Sena coalition or an impulsion towards the grand alliance of anti-BJP parties before 2019?

BJP spokesperson Madhu Chavan said, “BJP will win both Palghar and Gondia by-poll elections with a reasonable margin and the credit goes to the party’s developmental work at the grassroot level. We gave no importance to the audio clip released by Sena during elections. The Chief Minister has already issued a clarification regarding it. This is a mere rumour that BJP party workers are upset with Gavit contesting the election. But, we are not underestimating opponents whether we will win or lose.”

No party left any stone unturned and skilfully set the battlefield for the next year’s nationwide fight with the by-poll in the Palghar seat. While it designed enough stage for Congress and NCP to come closer, the unfriendly BJP-Sena affair spread like flames prior to the elections. Both the parties spared no attacks at each other while campaigning.

Palghar by-poll has been a requirement following the death of BJP MP Chintaman Wanga in January this year. Starting the series of brawls, Sena, in an unexpected move, fielded Wanga’s son Srinivas who was upset as their family was ignored by BJP after the Parliamentarian’s death. While CM Fadnavis slammed Sena for ‘hijacking’ their nominee, he fielded former Congress leader Rajendra Gavit for the seat paying no heed to its grassroot members.

Will Shiv Sena reap benefits with their sympathy wave strategy to take on the ruling BJP? If it does, it will surely act as a lesson for BJP to value its workers. BJP must check themselves from underestimating Uddhav Thackeray if Sena manages to beat them in Palghar.

Shiv Sena spokesperson Dr. Manisha Kayande said “that if Sena wins the race, their credits will go to the party president’s great administrative skills, voters, and all party workers. She said, “We hope to win the elections. EVM scams and money distribution happened in Palghar by the BJP party workers. One private car was caught while transporting EVM machine.”

“BJP did not follow protocols. They completely neglected Wanga family. Just like erstwhile Congress government, BJP too is misusing government machinery. The Election Commission favoured BJP and even the party did not follow the rules of EC,” Kayande added.

Two days ahead of the election, the CM Fadnavis-Sena Chief war of words over an audio clip of the CM was another political polemic. In the audio clip, Fadnavis is heard asking BJP workers to use “Saam, Daam, Dand, Bhed (negotiation, money, punishment, and division)” to win the May 28 by-poll. Sena demanded action by the Election Commission; Fadnavis hit back with the full clip and the party said it would also complain to the EC about the “misuse of technology”.

Congress spokesperson Dr. Raju Waghmare stated, “People have started losing faith in the democracy. How the Election Commission managed to increase the voting percentage by 7.50 to 8 per cent in just a night? If such malpractices happen everywhere, BJP will win. Damu Shingda has high chances of victory in Palghar if BJP restrains themselves from breaching the ethics.”

“If Congress wins, the credit will go to Ashok Chavan as he made a lot of efforts. If BJP loses, it will be the failure of CM’s poll strategy and if they win, we must say that the CM has properly used ‘Saam Daam Dand Bhed’ to win the election,” he further added.

Be it BJP, Sena or Congress — whichever party wins the Palghar by-poll, it will undoubtedly act as a major morale boost before India goes for polls next year. The Sena-BJP bond will also see its future in the state with the by-poll results. If BJP fails to hold back power, it will add to their list of setbacks after Karnataka Assembly polls, UP’s Gorakhpur, Phulpur and in Gujarat where their vote share saw a significant decline.

NCP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Majeed Memon expressed, “There are few cases where BJP party workers were caught distributing money openly for the by-poll elections. This is not a good sign for the democracy. Opponent parties filed a complaint with the EC but they did not bother. There were many incidents of faulty EVMs.”

He went on saying, “BJP made this election a prestige issue but their failure will indicate that Modi wave has vanished from the country. They will also commit the mistake to underestimate their opposition. It will be the semi-final for 2019 Lok Sabha polls.”

The wait is just for few more hours! The tune of Maharashtra political equations is all groomed to set it new notes.

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