The MahaYuti grand alliance between BJP and Shiv Sena is set to return to power for the second successive term in Maharashtra, but with a heavily reduced margin. This may change the political dynamics of the western state.
The 288-member Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, that has a magic figure of 145, would have a different look this time around.
In terms of numbers, the opposition Sharad Pawar-led NCP and Congress leading the MahaAghadi, moved ahead quite a bit but in terms of confidence, a lot.
The presence of rebels from the two 30-year-old saffron alliance partners in 50-plus seats led to this situation.
According to latest updates from the ECI, the BJP has won 103 sean, the Shiv Sena won 56.
On the other hand, the NCP has won in 54 seats and Congress 45 and leading in 1 (46).
There are nearly 28 from smaller parties and Independents, who have won or leading including the rebels, of which 15 are in touch with Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
If one looked at the 2014 results, the BJP had won 122 seats and Shiv Sena 63, while Congress won 42 and NCP 41. Back then, the BJP and Sena contested separately and the latter sat in opposition benches. A month later Sena joined the government.
Among the others and Independents, one seat is won by the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Nivnirman Sena and two of Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul. The magic of Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi did not work this time as like Lok Sabha polls when it damaged the prospects of Congress-NCP in more than a dozen seats.
Both Fadnavis and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had asserted that the MahaYuti coalition that includes RPI (Ambedkar), Shiv Sangram, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha and Rayatkranti Sangathana, would form the government.
Fadnavis said the BJP contested 260 seats in 2014 and won 122. "This time, we contested 150 seats and our allies 14 and as per trends, we are likely to win 105 seats. Our strike rate was 47 per cent in 2014, now it is 70 per cent," he said, adding that the BJP secured 28 per cent votes in 2014 and polled around 26 per cent votes across 164 seats this time.