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May 23 results will set the tone for another fierce battle in Maharashtra

One can expect one of three probable scenarios when the votes are counted on May 23

mumbai Updated: May 13, 2019 23:51 IST
Shailesh Gaikwad
Shailesh Gaikwad
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Maharashtra,Lok Sabha
All eyes will be on MNS and Raj Thackeray following the results of the Lok Sabha elections.(HT Photo)

What impact May 23 will have on Maharashtra politics?

In case of Maharashtra, the election results that will be declared on May 23, will not be only about who wins the Lok Sabha. The outcome will also show which way the wind is blowing ahead of the state assembly elections that will be held in five months. The results on Maharashtra’s 48 Lok Sabha seats will show which side — ruling BJP-Shiv Sena alliance or opposing Congress-NCP-led coalition — is better placed to win power in the state.

One can expect one of three probable scenarios when the votes are counted on May 23 and results are declared. Let’s take a look at them:

First is the possibility of BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) repeating the performance of 2014 Lok Sabha elections. At the time the NDA had won 42 of 48 parliamentary seats in Maharashtra while the Congress-NCP alliance managed to win only six.

If people respond to BJP’s call for `Modi Sarkar Phir Ek Bar’ and the reuniting of saffron parties helps the NDA, they will hit a target of around 40 or above. This will be a desirable scenario for the BJP and Sena. It will come as a big boost for chief minister Devendra Fadnavis who is heading the NDA in Maharashtra and could also mean his government could be on its way to win a second tenure. On the other hand, this will turn out to be a nightmare for the Congress-NCP as both the parties in the alliance could be staring at losing more and more ground to the ruling combine. Several senior leaders from both the parties could end up making their way to greener pastures of the BJP or Sena.

The second scenario could be the Congress-NCP-led coalition or United Progressive Alliance (UPA) winning more seats that the NDA — something like 30 or above it. This can happen only if there is a strong undercurrent against the Modi government at the Centre. Theoretically speaking, such a result will mean a turning point for the Opposition parties. It will mean the Fadnavis government heading for ouster in the assembly elections. As of now, even the optimistic in the Opposition camp are hopeful of reaching 30.

The third scenario is sort of a middle ground for both sides: The NDA winning anywhere between 25 to 30 seats while the UPA gets 20 to 25 seats. In this scenario, NDA may lose some ground to UPA. It will mean both the sides could be locked in a close fight for power in Maharashtra which could be a prelude to another fierce electoral fight in the state.

The results will also show if two other players outside the two coalitions — Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray and Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi convener Prakash Ambedkar — can make any difference in the electoral battle.

A new scion in the making?

As NCP chief Sharad Pawar resumed his tour of drought-hit areas of Maharashtra on Monday after a short break, everybody noticed the presence of his grandnephew, Rohit Pawar, the grandson of Pawar’s brother Appasaheb. According to NCP insiders, Rohit is a favourite of Pawar’s and is learning the ropes from the veteran politician who has been a dominant factor in Maharashtra politics for over four decades. Pawar fondly talks about his grandnephew who has taken his first step in politics by winning the zilla parishad (district council) elections from Baramati. Party insiders also say Rohit may contest the coming assembly elections from a constituency in Ahmednagar district or the next Lok Sabha elections from Baramati constituency which is currently being represented by Supriya Sule. It seems a new scion is making his way to state politics.

First Published: May 13, 2019 23:51 IST