Sena maintains its tally, not strike rate
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party’s performance, a repeat of 2014, has come primarily due to its decision to ally with BJP, observers said. The BJP and Sena won 41 of the 48 seats. The BJP bagged 23 seatsUpdated: May 26, 2019 11:28 IST
The decision to join hands with the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections has paid off for the Shiv Sena. By securing wins on 18 seats, the Sena managed to remain politically significant in Maharashtra—especially ahead of the Assembly polls.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led party’s performance, a repeat of 2014, has come primarily due to its decision to ally with BJP, observers said. The BJP and Sena won 41 of the 48 seats. The BJP bagged 23 seats.
The synergy between the top leadership of the party is looking better than it was in 2014 after the BJP won a complete majority for the first time. The optics also show that all is well within the alliance after the mammoth victory of the BJP in 2019. CM Devendra Fadnavis’s move to go to Matoshree—Thackeray’s residence—on Thursday to celebrate the win, shows the two saffron parties would remain together.
Thackeray is set to go to New Delhi on Saturday to meet BJP president Amit Shah and PM Narendra Modi.
Analyst Pratap Asbe said, “Sena is now seen as the B-team of the BJP. But had they gone alone, their situation would have been really bad,” he said. Although Sena benefitted by their alliance with the BJP, the strike rate — the proportion of constituencies the party wins for a given set of constituencies — has dropped from 90% in 2014, to 78.26%, as four veterans, including a minister in the Modi cabinet, lost.
Union minister for heavy industries Anant Geete lost to NCP’s Sunil Tatkare in Raigad. Five-term MP Anandrao Adsul was defeated by independent candidate Navneet Rana in Amravati. Three-term MP from Shirur, Shivaji Adhalrao Patil, was also defeated by NCP’s Amol Kolhe. Kolhe was a Sena deputy leader, who quit the party, to join NCP .
In a shock for the party, four-time MP Chandrakant Khaire lost to Imtiyaz Jaleel of AIMIM from Aurangabad by 4,492 votes. Khaire, who was in a four-cornered fight in the constituency, was primarily hurt by Harshwardhan Jadhav, a Sena MLA, who quit the party during the Maratha agitation. He contested independently and polled 2,83,798 votes, to hurt the chances of Khaire. The Sena also lost Satara, where NCP’s Udayanraje Bhonsale trounced Narendra Patil.
The NCP, according to the results, caused more damage to Sena candidates than the Congress. NCP and Sena candidates were against each other on 11 seats. NCP managed to win four of the seats. The Congress and Sena were against each other on nine seats, but Congress did not win any. The Sena made inroads in Kolhapur, snatching it from NCP, by winning the seat after attempts in 2009 and 2014.
According to Sena leaders, the result is positive for the party despite the loss in its traditional strongholds. “Assembly segments are being analysed, whether our vote bank has changed or there was any polarisation of some kind. Those upsets have really shocked the party leadership, otherwise our tally would have been 22,” a senior functionary said.
A senior Sena leader, however, dismissed anti-incumbency as a factor for the losses for four veterans of the party. “Sometimes there are freak reasons for defeats. We are looking into it so that we are better prepared for the Assembly polls,” he said, requesting anonymity
The party’s vote share has increased to 23.29%, from 20.82% in 2014. “Our vote share has gone up, and our assessment shows that a sizable chunk of youth, including first-time voters, have voted for the Sena,” said Anil Desai, party secretary and Rajya Sabha MP. He attributed the reason behind young voters gravitating towards Sena, to the rise of Thackeray scion, Aaditya.