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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

Assembly election result 2019: BJP set to storm Maharashtra, ahead in a close fight in Haryana

Maharashtra Assembly Election Results : Early leads indicate that at 10:30 am, the BJP-Sena combine was ahead in 177 out of Maharashtra’s 288 assembly seats. In Haryana, the BJP was ahead in what has turned out to be a close contest.

assembly-elections Updated: Oct 24, 2019 11:34 IST
Prashant Jha
Prashant Jha
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Employees make preparations at a counting hall in Ambedkar Bhawan, Pokhran road no 2 Thane  on Wednesday, October 24, 2019.( Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)
Employees make preparations at a counting hall in Ambedkar Bhawan, Pokhran road no 2 Thane on Wednesday, October 24, 2019.( Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)
         

With 15 percent of the votes counted, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to return to power in Maharashtra, scoring its most spectacular victory yet, in alliance with the Shiv Sena, even as it is ahead in Haryana in what has turned out to be a surprisingly close contest.

Early leads indicate that at 10:30 am, the BJP was ahead in 107 out of Maharashtra’s 288 assembly seats, while its ally, the Sena was ahead in 70.

If the leads hold, and translate into a corresponding number of seats, the BJP will be thrilled with its performance in Maharashtra, one of India’s most important political and economic bastions. The campaign had seen a concerted effort by PM Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis, who has emerged as a dominant leader in the state. The BJP appears to have expanded its geographical and social base, making substantial inroads in western Maharashtra and among the Maratha community. It also appears to have held on to its own strongholds and traditional social constituencies.

While the BJP will not be able to make it to the halfway mark on its own and will need the Shiv Sena, its strike rate has been way more impressive than the Sena, which has now formally become the junior partner in the alliance.

If the leads hold, the results will also come as a major source of disappointment to both the Congress and the NCP, whose leader, the veteran Sharad Pawar, put up a vigorous campaign while battling desertions and internal family feuds.

Close contest in Haryana

But the more surprising result appears to be taking shape in Haryana. While the BJP is ahead in 41 of the 90 seats — and the final tally remains to be seen — the Congress, under its former chief minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has put up a remarkable fight in short time. The party had been embroiled in internal factionalism and Hooda had only been given the charge of campaign in September. But a substantial degree of Jat consolidation behind the Congress, as well as underlying anti-incumbency may help it considerably improve its 2014 tally of 15 seats.

The outcome, if the BJP-Sena win Maharashtra comfortably and the BJP maintains its edge in Haryana, will show both the party’s continued dominance, but also the possible sources of challenges it may encounter when strong regional leaders, caste alliances and economic factors intersect as in the small northern state.