The Congress-NCP tally has come down from 25 seats in 2009 Lok Sabha polls to the single digit of six seats. At two seats, the Congress has posted its worst electoral tally.
“It’s unlikely that people’s sentiment against the Congress will change in the coming four months. Also, with Modi secure at the Centre, he will focus his energies on winning the state. The Congress-NCP also faces anti-incumbency of three terms and people are fed up with the bickering coalition government they have offered. The odds are in favour of Sena and BJP coming to power in the state,” said political analyst B Venkatesh Kumar.
Sena’s impressive 20-seat win and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) failing to even play a spoiler in these polls will further cement the Sena-BJP alliance. If there’s any silver lining at all for the ruling alliance, it’s that they have a breather of four months to get their act together. The state government, for now, is secure, with the NCP not in a position to offer any support to the BJP and unlikely to topple the government.
The Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar’s party may even have to struggle for survival in the coming months, if it faces similar losses in the assembly polls. “The Congress can be without power for five or even 10 years. We are a regional party, we can’t survive that long without power,” said a NCP minister.
He added that the party was looking at two options: to contest assembly polls solo to ward off anti-Congress sentiment or to stick with the Congress but demand more seats. Political observers have offered a third option for the NCP, that it might consider merging with the Congress.