Half of Shiv Sena, NCP rebel MLAs trailing in assembly segments | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Half of Shiv Sena, NCP rebel MLAs trailing in assembly segments

Jun 18, 2024 08:35 AM IST

Of the 185 Assembly constituencies, 90 MLAs failed to give leads to their Lok Sabha candidates. BJP is leading in 55, Shiv Sena in 22, and NCP in just 17

Mumbai: Despite exuding confidence of bouncing back after its drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra, the Assembly segment-wise results released by the election commission this week do not make for good reading for the ruling Mahayuti alliance.

Mumbai, India - Sept. 1, 2023: Dy CM Ajit Pawar, CM Eknath Shinde, Dy CM Devendra Fadnavis, during "Mahayuti" alliance meeting at NSCI, Worli, in Mumbai, India, on Friday, September 1, 2023. (Photo by Anshuman Poyrekar/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)
Mumbai, India - Sept. 1, 2023: Dy CM Ajit Pawar, CM Eknath Shinde, Dy CM Devendra Fadnavis, during "Mahayuti" alliance meeting at NSCI, Worli, in Mumbai, India, on Friday, September 1, 2023. (Photo by Anshuman Poyrekar/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)

Around half of the rebel MLAs from chief minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena (20 out of 42) and Ajit Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (22 out of 40) in Maharashtra are trailing in their respective constituencies. The Bharatiya Janata Party isn’t too far behind, with 48 of its incumbent 103 MLAs trailing.

Of the 185 Assembly constituencies under the Mahayuti alliance, 90 MLAs failed to give leads to their Lok Sabha candidates. BJP is leading in 55, Shiv Sena in 22, and NCP in just 17 assembly constituencies. This could be a warning bell for the Mahayuti, although the Lok Sabha election performance is not the ultimate parameter to gauge chances in the Assembly polls scheduled for later this year.

Among the key Mahayuti leaders who were trailing in their constituencies are state cabinet ministers Sudhir Mungantiwar, Atul Save, and Suresh Khade, former ministers Ashok Uike, Babanrao Lonikar, Haribhau Bagde, and Babanrao Pachpute, spokesperson Ram Kadam, Lok Sabha candidate Ram Satpute (all BJP); ministers Dilip Walse Patil, Dharmarao Atram, and Chhagan Bhujbal, deputy speaker Narhari Zirwal, former minister Datta Bharne (all NCP-AP); and ministers Sanjay Rathod, Sambhuraj Desai, Abdul Sattar, and LS candidate Ravindra Waikar (all Shiv Sena).

The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi, in comparison, has performed well, with just 13 of their 71 MLAs trailing in the LS polls. Only eight out of the Congress’ 43 MLAs, two of 15 Shiv Sena (UBT) MLAs and three of 13 NCP-SP legislators could not give leads to the alliance’s Lok Sabha candidates.

“Although the Lok Sabha results in assembly segments have no bearing on the Assembly polls, it is definitely a major factor to be considered,” said a BJP leader. “The ruling parties had warned their MLAs that the lead they give in the LS elections will be taken into account while considering their candidature in the Assembly polls.”

The BJP leader also said that the opposition’s talking points against the Mahayuti like the scrapping of the constitution and doing away with facilities for tribals would no longer be effective. They added that in some constituencies like Nagpur, the performance of MLAs hardly mattered as the voting was purely for union minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari. Similarly, in Marathwada constituencies like Beed, the results were mainly based on the caste equation. “However, similar equations could continue in the Assembly elections too, making it difficult to reverse the trend for us,” the leader said.

Sunil Tatkare, spokesperson of NCP (Ajit Pawar), said the Lok Sabha election results have no bearing on the Assembly polls, as the issues in both elections are entirely different. “We will do much better in the Assembly polls by contesting more seats,” he said.

Last week, deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had said the Mahayuti was leading in over 133 seats, while BJP alone was leading in 73 constituencies. “The rise of just 1% vote share in the Assembly polls would help us in retaining power,” he had said.

Mumbai-based political analyst Padmabhushan Deshpande said it could be difficult for the ruling alliance to retain its Lok Sabha performance in the Assembly polls. “The LS results is a reflection of the anger among people over the breaking up of the parties for political gain against the rich political culture of the state. Despite the LS election being fought with [prime minister] Narendra Modi’s face, the voters in the state vented their anger [against the ruling alliance]. In the Assembly polls, the MLAs, especially the rebel ones, will face [the anger] significantly as they go face to face with the voters,” he added.

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