BJP-Sena emerge supreme in Maharashtra

BJP-Sena emerge supreme in Maharashtra

Powered by a media blitz, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance made a spectacular showing in the Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra winning 38 seats out of 48 and leaving the ruling Democratic Front consisting of the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party sinking in a quagmire of its own making.

Anti-incumbency anger coupled with bitter infighting in the Congress-NCP combine paved the way for its humiliating defeat. The saving grace for the Congress was the victory of former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan winning the Nanded seat and Rajeev Satav grabbing the Hingoli seat. NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule also managed to stem the anti-incumbency wave sweeping the state in her home turf of Baramati.

The ultra-right regional parties like Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) also bit the dust. The 10 MNS candidates in the fray, going by the trends in final rounds of counting, seemed to be on the verge of forfeiting their election deposits.

The disillusionment amongst the people of Maharashtra with the ruling combine was not confined to just the urban areas like Mumbai, where Congress-NCP candidates failed to win, but it was also reflected in the rural hinterland.

In Mumbai, the Mahayuti (Mega-alliance) cobbled together by the Shiv Sena, BJP, RPI and two other parties, walked away with all the six seats leaving high-profile old-timers like Priya Dutt, Eknath Gaikwad, Milind Deora, Gurudas Kamat, Sanjay Nirupam and Sanjay Patil high and dry. Small-timers and virtually unknown local leaders like Gopal Shetty and Arvind Sawant won in a blaze of glory.

The script of devastation for the Congress-NCP was also seen playing out in the rural hinterlands where big-guns like Sushil Kumar Shinde, Chhagan Bhujbal and Praful Patel found themselves to have become losers.

In the last two elections, the key rival outfits - Congres-NCP and BJP-SS - were neck-to-neck in the race. But this time around, the Congress-NCP combine has been routed. In 2004, the BJP-SS combine had won 25 seats and 20 in 2009. The Congress-NCP combine was close behind its rivals with 22 seats in 2004. In 2009, the Congress-NCP alliance won 25 seats and the BJP-SS combine 20.

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