Saffron Fades: Maharashtra State Elections 2019

Sharad Pawar, with over three dozen rallies including one where he was drenched by rains in western Maharashtra’s Satara district is the star of the opposition’s push back. His party won back some that was lost to the juggernaut in May 2019

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As the results of the 2019 Maharashtra State Assembly Electionsare coming in, there is a clear message that the BJP’s hold over the state is coming undone. It appears that the Modi-Shah rallies in Maharashtra before e-day did not garner the kind of impact they hoped.

Despite the aggressive campaigning, the Bharatiya Janata Party has suffered from a substantial decrease in their total vote share within the state. Around 5 p.m, out of the declared results in 131 constituencies, the BJP-SS seat total stands at 74, while the INC-NCP partnership has 47 wins.India Today reported that in 45 seats have margins ofless than 1000, while 130 constituencies show margins of less than 5000. Final tallies are still coming in.

In order to garner support for the BJP-led Mahayuti alliance, the incumbent Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis went on a “Maha Jana desh Yatra”, in which he rallied for his party in 150 constituencies.Additionally, Party President and the incumbent Home Minister Amit Shah as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed 27 separate public meetings among them.

Out of the nine visited by Modi,the constituencies of Parli, Akola West, and Pune Cantonment seem to have resisted catching the Modi fever.
BJP’s Pankaja Munde, the current minister of Rural Development, Women and Child Welfare, has lost in her Parli constituency.   

Dhananjay Munde under the NCP ticket won with a 30,524 margin and 54.44% of the vote share.In the 2014 Assembly elections, Pankaja had won in this seat by defeating Dhananjay by a margin of 25895 votes. Akola West, Sakoli, and Pune Cantonment have also been showing a neck-and-neck tally of votes so far. Independent candidate Narendra Bhondekar is winning Bhandara with a 15,560 vote lead.

From the eighteen constituencies the party hoped Shah would successfully allay, a good chunk has seen divided voter shares. Latur (City) and Latur (Rural) have been taken over by Vilasrao Deshmukh’s sons Amit and Dhiraj, both with INC tickets. Nawapur is also evidently voting INC into power with Shirish kumar Naik. Beed has shown unilateral support to NCP’s Sandeep K shirsagar. Aheriis seeing votes divided into three candidates, but NCP’s Dharamrao Aatramis winning with 19858 more votes than the next competitor.

Another Minister of State, Rajkumar Sudamji Badole,is also trailing in his constituency of Arjuni Morgaon from the Gondia district.He held the charge of Social Justice and Special Assistance in the 2014 government. His NCP competitor Chandrikapure Manohar Gowardhani is leading by 1484 votes. This can mark the end of Badole’s decade-long rule in this constituency. Interestingly, no BJP leader rallied for votes in this constituency despite this straight fight having been predicted prior to the election.

Despite Fadnavis’s attempt to woo Baramati, Ajit Pawar desecrated all competition, winning by a margin of 1,95,641 votes, which is 83.24% of the vote share. INC’s Vishwajeet Kadamalso won with 1,71,497 votes.In Baramati, all of Ajit Pawar’s opponents lost their deposits, cousin SupriyaSule told the media barely able to conceal her smiles!

In its election campaigns, BJP’s senior leaders heavily wove the government’s abrogation of Article 370 into their party narrative. The Prime Minister in his speech at the Akola gathering lashed out against the Opposition questioning the link between the abrogation and Maharashtra elections, and said “Doobmaro, doobmaro!”

(This report has been filed before the final results are in)



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