Maharashtra Elections : The land of Greats like Chhatrapati Shivaji, Dr.Ambedkar is getting ready for another battle, the Maharashtra Assembly Elections. Soon the traditional and social media will be buzzing with the related news, predictions and noisy debates by the experts. Swords will be out, air will be full of big promises as usual and the result will be awaited by all.
Maharashtra has produced many stalwarts in the past. Currently there are plenty like Sachin Tendulkar, Lata Mangeshkar by whom it is known but what about Politics ? Do we have the real stars here ? May be Yes! May be No!
Lack of Leader after Balasaheb Thackray
Shivsena is without the big leadership of Balasaheb Thackeray. Uddhav is way apart from his father, he works in a sober way compared to his father. BJP is banking on Devendra Fadnavis, the shrewd leader without a blemish so far on his cloths. He has handled the Maratha agitation for reservations in a swift manner and comes across as a soft spoken leader who means business !
Last Assembly election was fought separately by the BJP and Shivsena. BJP was the largest party winning 122 seats while Shivsena won 63 assembly seats. Congress was reduced to 42 seats and NCP 41 seats. This time there is alliance at least till now, you never know what the future can hold. However, the chances of splitting is rare and though the Shivsena will be blowing the trumpet against BJP rule in state as they have been doing in last few years against the central rule of BJP, they will not cross the limits and break the tie-up.
Rise of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi
Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi – the new party floated by Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar’s grandson Mr. Prakash Ambedkar is a dark horse to reckon. His party can split the votes of minorities and can be a headache for congress if they fight it out alone. In last Lok Sabha elections VBA made a good dent in vote-bank of the Congress and NCP. Some say they are working for BJP, which is strongly denied by Mr. Ambedkar.
AIMIM, dalit parties and independents won’t be able to make a big dent. Raju Shetty’s Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana though intends to fight from 49 seats, may not be able to win. He could not win the Loksabha seat from where he had contested.
Will Raj Thackeray play a Spoiler?
Raj Thackeray the nephew of Bal Thackeray, fell flat on his face after the verdict of the Loksabha Elections. His crowd pulling abilities and indirect canvassing of the opposition failed to work. However, he can be of nuisance value here in upcoming Maharashtra elections. Currently he seems to be meeting people like Raju Shetty and political stalwarts like Mr. Pawar to work out some plans. MNS can win some seats in Mumbai and Nashik. However, Raj Thackeray doesn’t have strong pull in overall Maharashtra.
There is noise growing for Chief Minister’s post from Shivsena and Aditya Thackray is being projected by some as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra but Mr. Fadanvis is bound to hang onto the chair, looking at his clout in BJP and though he has not delivered extremely well, he doesn’t have any strong opposition within his party. In the end, Shiv Sena may have to compromise on Deputy C.M.’s position.
Future of Congress-NCP Alliance
Congress at present is completely clueless right now after their debacle in Loksabha and NCP is also not in a great shape. With the weak opposition and a strong alliance of BJP-SS-RPI (Athavale Group), we can see their combo sitting on the Ruler’s chair once again. BJP has shown good grip over urban areas. Lok Sabha result was an evident of it and Shiv Sena has its own strongholds of many years.
Amit shah the Chanakya of Indian politics may not be able to give much time due to his new avatar as a Home Minister of India. However, he will play a major role again in shaping up the plans and assuring BJP a win again.
In all this political scenario hope the leaders involved don’t lose track of perennial issues of this state like farmers suicide, unemployment, rise in crime, poor public transport and water shortages. There is so much to do and so little has been done. We expect the political battle is played fairly with deserved candidates in contest. We wish the level of campaigning does not deteriorate, dynasty rule is not followed blindly and the “Aam Janta” is not forgotten post the election results as usual.
Lok Sabha Results Not a Reflection of Assembly Election
One point we should not forget is Assembly election results do not necessarily copy the Lok Sabha Election results and vice versa. But considering the rule of BJP in the state which is corruption free, and the way they have maintained communal harmony, victory will be theirs despite the government’s shortfalls and Shivsena’s dismal performance in local bodies like BMC.
Loyality of BJP voters and influence of central rule of BJP added to it charisma of Mr. Modi, BJP’s strong strategies and planning, the strong grassroot network of Shivsena, the chances of opposition giving a tough fight is very less, unless in the coming months there is a total churning in the political/social environment of Maharashtra.
So what will be the prediction, we will be looking out at tentatively ?
The 288 Seats of Maharashtra assembly which goes in for election later this year. If BJP and Sena fight together the alliance will have a comfortable sail. However, if they split up like they did in last assembly election we may again witness a hung assembly. We expect BJP to win 135-145 seats while Shiv Sena may win 65-70. Congress and NCP may win 75-80 assembly seats. Others may win around 13-15 seats.
Title: Maharashtra Elections : Sena-BJP to Split up Before Poll? Prediction
Author: Nitin Mungekar