Mumbai: The Bharatiya Janata Party has retained Maharashtra with ally Shiv Sena but its performance has been a downer at the face of a resurgent Congress-Nationalist Congress Party Opposition.
The ruling alliance has got over 160 seats in the 288-member Assembly. As per the Election Commission, the BJP won 99 seats and was leading in 9 seats, which is below the 122 it secured in 2014. The Shiv Sena bagged 55 seats, Congress 35 and the National Congress Party 49.
Sensing its upper hand over 'big brother' BJP, the Shiv Sena has demanded a ’50:50 formula’ in the power set-up.
However, the Opposition alliance has bagged nearly 85 seats and NCP with 49 seats has emerged the 'big brother' in this equation.
In the 2014 elections, the BJP, Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP won 122, 63, 42 and 41 seats respectively.
The BJP’s not-so-good performance had various factors which are as follows:
Maratha reservation: There was a sentiment of distrust towards the Fadnavis-led BJP government which had proposed 16 per cent reservation for Marathas in government jobs and education.
Tiff over seat-sharing: Ahead of the polls, 26 Shiv Sena corporators and around 300 party workers sent their resignations to party chief Uddhav Thackeray over the seat-sharing in Mumbai. BJP candidates in these Sena strongholds didn’t get the desired votes.
Abrogation of Article 370 did not work: The Maharasthra elections were held exactly 10 weeks after Kashmir was stripped of its special status. This was a major poll pitch for Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Along with this, other broad national issues too failed to get the BJP votes. The Congress-NCP, however, stuck to local issues in their campaigns.
The rise in prices of onion and fuel, joblessness, loss of farm produce due to floods, and the general impacts of a slowing economy were issues the Opposition highlighted during elections.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is leading the ruling combine along with Shiv Sena debutant Aaditya Thackeray. He is also seen as a contender for the post of deputy CM. Aaditya was pitted against Bahujan Republican Socialist Party’s (BRSP) Suresh Mane, who was contesting on an NCP ticket from Worli seat.
Key poll issues for the BJP included the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir, while the opposition was attempting to bring back the focus on local issues like drought, floods and economic slowdown.
The state had total 8,98,39,600 voters, including 1,06,76,013 in the age group of 18 to 25 years....