Maharashtra Assembly Election 2019 : BJP-Sena to part ways again?
Maharashtra Assembly Election 2019 is just a few months away. After Lok Sabha 2019 election, this is the state where BJP will be in head on battle against Indian National Congress. The defeat in Lok Sabha Elections have completely rattled Congress. The state unit of Congress is going through one of the biggest political-crisis. Added to it, around 10 legislators have deserted the grand old party and have either joined BJP or Shiv Sena. Political pundits are of the opinion that the disastrous performance in Lok Sabha election, lack of leadership and infighting among the leaders is gradually leading towards the extinction of the party in the State.
Sharad Pawar’s NCP is also going through the similar situation. Both Congress and NCP have agreed to form coalition for the upcoming Assembly election. However, both the parties are facing leadership crisis in the state. Congress leaders like Narayan Rane (former Chief Minister), Priyanka Chaturvedi, seven-time legislator Kalidas Kolamkar, Abdul Sattar have already deserted the party. For NCP, leaders like Shivendrasinh Bhosale, Vaibhav Pichad, Sandip Naik, Sachin Ahir have shifted their bases to either BJP or Shiv Sena. Therefore, the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly election 2019 is going to be the toughest political battle for both NCP and Congress.
No BJP-Sena Alliance?
In the 2014 Assembly elections, the BJP won 122 seats out of the state’s 288, while the Shiv Sena won 63. The Congress and the NCP bagged 42 and 41 seats, respectively. BJP and Shiv Sena went ahead to form a post-poll alliance. Since then both BJP and Shiv Sena have shared the bitterest relationship. Shiv Sena have never missed an opportunity to attact BJP state and center leadership. Shiv Sena have always considered itself to be the big brother of BJP in Maharashtra. However, growing presence of BJP in the state have triggered a danger alarm for Shiv Sena. Both the saffron party are again heading towards an alliance battle in the state. Shiv Sena, this time wants to claim stake at the Chief Minister post, most likely to be headed by Bala Sahab Thackery’s grandson, Aditya Thackrey. BJP on the other hand is in no mood to leave the chair instead is ready to offer the Chair of Deputy Chief Minister of the state. Apart from this, seat sharing among the two alliance partners adds up to the discontentment of the Sainiks. If rumors are to be believed, BJP wants to contest 160 of 288 assembly seats while Shiv Sena is in no mood to contest less than 110 seats. On the other hand the central leadership have already asked the state unit to be prepared to go solo in case Shiv Sena does not aggress to BJP’s proposal.
What is the mood of State?
Since Lok Sabha election, most of the opposition parties have lost their zeal to remain active in politics. Many believe that the upcoming Assembly election is a one-sided affair. BJP will easily win the elections; however, it is always unwise to compare results of national election with that of a state election. A clear example can be derived from 2018 Assembly election when BJP lost all the three of its ruling states but swept the same states in 2019 Lok Sabha election. What will be the mood of Maharashtra in upcoming assembly election, time will answer it, however it may not be a smooth sail for BJP as it is expecting in the state.
2019 Lok Sabha turned out to be bigger Modi wave than 2014. People voted in name of Modi rather than their Parliamentarian representative. However, assembly elections are fought taking local issues in consideration. Modi wave may not help Maharashtra BJP to return to power once again. A survey conducted by a media house before Lok Sabha election show that people were more satisfied with Central Government than the state government.
BJP and Shiv Sena, the saffron allies have always been together. However, in 2014 Assembly election both party went solo and thereby none was able to secure majority in the state. Five years down the line, in Lok Sabha election, they came together and swept the entire state and decimated the opposition. However, things are again changing for the two partners. Sena is in no mood to act as younger brother in state anymore. Moreover, Sena promoting Aditya Thackrey, son of Uddav Thackrey as next Chief Minister of Maharashtra is not going well with BJP. Even if the two parties agrees to an pre-poll alliance there are more chances for them to depart after election result owing to the demand of respective party.
Maharashtra Assembly Election 2019 will be the most important election from Congress as well as BJP’s point of view. This election may also decide the future of BJP-Sena alliance. BJP at the center is battling the issues like economic slowdown, unemployment; defeat in Maharashtra may prove to be a sign of growing discontentment of citizen against the government. Congress and NCP on other have already lost alot, be it in Lok Sabha 2019 or be it the defection of their leaders. Win in the state may boost the morale of not just the leaders but entire party workers.
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