In Maharashtra, many news channels, papers and agencies have predicted that BJP will gain maximum seats in this election. The two week-long and restless campaign which closed yesterday, has been marked by bitter name-calling and below-the-belt jibes following the acrimonious break-up of the two major alliances. Senior leaders of both Congress and NCP are candid in saying that BJP does hold an edge over Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena and MNS. BJP may not secure a clear majority, but we must admit it has an edge over other political parties. People’s psychology today is that they want to be ‘sure’ that there is a change of guard and for that, BJP is the best bet (rather than Sena). But what I strongly feel is that, BJP has had no qualms in ‘borrowing’ candidates (sitting MLAs or folks with strong ties) from the Congress for example. Hence, it is not clear that things will really change. BJP should be given a chance as we see that Narendra Modi has taken drastic steps to improve infrastructure, safeguard our borders and rope in as much FDI as possible. More than four months after Congress and NCP were routed in the Lok Sabha elections, we can see now, BJP is set to repeat its performance, or at least emerge as the single largest party in the assembly polls on October 15.
Pre-poll surveys support this view with indications that BJP might make deep inroads in Vidarbha and Marathwada. In the Congress-NCP stronghold of western Maharashtra too, the voters’ mood is “fairly” conducive. Narendra Modi mocks NCP, dubs it ‘naturally corrupt party’, but most of NCP and Congress’ ‘corrupt’ leaders who rebel against their party and switch loyalty towards BJP having criminal backgrounds, are given tickets to contest leaving all morals and ethics aside. Modi has made the assembly polls a personal issue. It’s the first time in the state’s political history that a prime minister has devoted such huge amount of time for assembly polls. He addressed election rallies in villages too and the response there has been unprecedented. Somewhere, he is the only person in BJP who can be the face of the party. After splitting from Sena, saving party in state was a big challenge for its existence.
A Government formed through coalition of political parties is always against the spirit of democracy. In any such arrangement, governance takes the back seat. There remains the game of sharing “loot,” the farce in the name of Democracy! For long, BJP was peeved at the attitude of Sena taking stances hurting it’s sentiments, be it the support given to Congress presidential candidates on one pretext or other. Of course, Sena was trying to safeguard its territory, but it was leading to the inevitable. It is very difficult to pull on. Anyhow, we would be able to see the strength of all the five contestants, which may help to form, firmer fronts, and political stability.
Multi-party system or coalition politics seriously harms the country’s/state’s progress with the main party succumbing to the pressures and compulsions by fringe parties having just 10-15 seats. In that process, the main party’s even well-meant programmes get derailed and the governance goes for a toss, corruption level increases enormously as we have been witnessing. It is in the interest of the country or state that a single party rule should be brought back with at least two-third majority. BJP is the only option for voters.
Anyway, BJP is likely to gain as anti-BJP votes will split into four parties. After BJP and Sena part ways, the main contest was going to be between BJP and Shiv Sena. Congress and NCP have become unpopular and 15 days of hard work will not save them. Uddhav has not played his cards correctly after the split. In this election, voters have decided that they are not going to vote for Congress and NCP. They are considering who among the remaining 3 parties – BJP, SS and MNS would be the best option. So, BJP has gained maximum points in attacking Congress and NCP, and shown the voters how favourable they are if you compare them with these two parties. Uddhav, on the other hand, has done nothing to attract the anti-Congress-NCP voters. He was busy attacking BJP, which is not going to yield him any votes. BJP’s vote bank is intact. It is a known fact that Congress-NCP voters will split and Shiv Sena will fail to grab this opportunity. The probability of BJP forming a Government is not seen much but there will certainly be uptrend in the number of seats tally as BJP has won 2 seats more than its then senior partner Shiv Sena despite contesting only in 119 seats leaving 169 seats for the Sena in 2009 assembly polls. Given the anti-incumbency and voter dissatisfaction with 15 years of Congress-NCP combine, BJP stands chance of becoming largest beneficiary among the contesting parties with anywhere between 100-120 seats. Let’s see what is written in the future of Maharashtra. We will get to know on 19th October.