After the third round of polling in Maharashtra got over on Thursday, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance claimed it would make major gains, winning 28-32 of the state’s 48 seats.
The two constituents of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) sounded confident of improving on their tally of 20 in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
“The minimum we will get is 28. If the Modi factor makes a bigger impact, we will reach 32 and if some of our calculations work, we might even reach 35, which will be our best performance ever in the state,” a key BJP leader said.
In contrast to the upbeat mood in the NDA, there is gloom in the ruling Congress-NCP camp.
Important functionaries from the Congress and NCP said the tally of the ruling alliance is likely to drop from the 25 they got in 2009. The two parties have estimated they would end up winning 16 to 20 seats. “It appears that we will lose 6-10 seats though we will manage to retain some of our strongholds,” a top Congress leader said.
It appears that the saffron combine will make major gains in Vidarbha where it could win 5 out of the 10 seats in 2009 while 5 went to Congress and NCP. This time the BJP-Shiv Sena combine expects to win upto 8 seats in the region. Mumbai could also contribute to the BJP-Sena tally, with the alliance expecting 4 of the 6 seats in the state capital.
In 2009, the Congress-NCP alliance swept Mumbai, winning all 6 seats. In western Maharashtra, it could win only 2 of the 10 seats the last time. However, it now expects to get 4 or 5 seats, which would be a setback as western Maharashtra is considered a Congress-NCP bastion. In central Maharashtra (Marathwada) and northern Maharashtra, it is likely to retain the upper hand just as it did in 2009.
Congress and NCP leaders told HT they were likely to lose seats in Vidarbha, western Maharashtra and Mumbai.