VBA & AIMIM ensure NCP-Congress defeat in 34 seats, emerge as significant players: M’tra

It takes money, muscle and organisation to fight an election. While the Aam Aadmi party (AAP) contested 26 seats in Maharashtra Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi (VBA) was more ambitious, it had candidates in as many as 235 of the state’s assembly seats! In 25 seats, the VBA played spoiler in the western Indian state while in another nine, the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) presence ensured the BJP-SS to win.

Image result for VBA & AIMM party symbol"
Image Courtesy: gnsnews.co.in

Is this a failure of the opposition in general to forge a common platform against the saffron alliance, or a particular case of political opportunism by the smaller players? In nine of the 25 seats where VBA impacted, it was the VB A candidate that was at number two. Arguably then a united opposition alliance may have swept up a more decisive win.

Of the nine seats in Maharashtra where  the AIMIMs presence helped the BJP-Shiv Sena to win, two of these, Chandivali and Kalina are in Mumbai! These are:

1. Sangola Seat
SHIV SENA: 99,464 votes
PWPI: 98,696:votes
AIMIM: 979 votes

Chandivali Seat
SHIV SENA: 85,879 Votes
INC: 85470 votes
AIMIM: 1167 votes

Nagpur Central
BJP: 75692 votes
INC: 71684 votes
AIMIM: 8565 votes

Pune Cantonment
BJP: 52160 votes
INC: 47148 votes
AIMIM: 6138 votes

SHIV SENA: 83403 votes
 NCP: 69264 votes
 AIMIM: 17212 votes

Nanded North
SHIV SENA: 62884 votes
INC: 50778 votes
AIMIM: 41892 votes

BJP: 118182 votes
INC: 107066 votes
AIMIM + VBA:18946 votes

SHIV SENA: 5049 votes
NCP: 34036 votes
AIMIM:  17349 votes

SHIV SENA: 43319 votes
INC: 38388 votes
AIMIM: 2637 votes
In 25 seats, it was the VBA to turn spoiler. Though the VBA did not manage to win a single seat in the Maharashtra Assembly election out of the 235 seats they contested, in as many as 25 seats, the VBA made a crucial, decisive difference – a factor that could have potentially changed the overall result of the election as well.In 25 of the seats where the Congress/NCP candidate came second and the BJP/Sena candidate won, the margin of victory was smaller than the number of votes polled by the VBA.Of the 25 seats, the BJP ended up winning in 20 seats and the Shiv Sena in the other 5.

Could 34 seats have made a crucial difference?

The winning BJP-Sena alliance won 161 seats, and the Cong-NCP+ alliance, in the final tallystands at 102. If the saffron alliance had lost the 34 seats to the Opposition alliance, it would have been a close call:

  • BJP-Sena: 161-34= 127
  • Cong-NCP+: 102 + 34 = 136
  • Others: 25

The, the BJP would have dropped down to 85, and the Sena to 51. The BJP-Sena alliance would have been not just way short of the majority mark of 145 in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, and the Opposition alliance would have been just another 9 seats behind them.
Who then formed the government would be left to post poll machinations and not logic or arithmetic. The race to cobble together a majority would have been wide open.
Where did the VBA play spoiler?
The constituencies where the Congress candidate came second, and the margin of victory for BJP/Shiv Sena was less than the number of votes polled by VBA are:

  1. Akola West – BJP
  2. Arni – BJP
  3. Ballarpur – BJP
  4. Chikhli – BJP
  5. Chimur – BJP
  6. Dhamamgaon railway – BJP
  7. Khamgaon -BJP
  8. Nagpur South – BJP
  9. Pune Cantonment – BJP
  10. Ralegaon – BJP
  11. Shivajinagar – BJP
  12. Tuljapur – BJP
  13. Yavatmal – BJP
  14. Chandivali – Shiv Sena
  15. Chembur – Shiv Sena
  16. Nanded North – Shiv Sena

The list below if of those seats where the NCP candidate came second, and the margin of victory for BJP/Shiv Sena was less than the number of votes polled by VBA:

  1. Chalisgaon – BJP
  2. Daund – BJP
  3. Georai – BJP
  4. Jintur – BJP
  5. Khadakwasala – BJP
  6. Malshiras – BJP
  7. Ulhasnagar – BJP
  8. Osmanabad – Shiv Sena
  9. Paithan – Shiv Sena

Interestingly, in Chimur, the Congress polled 77,394 votes and the BJP secured 87,146 votes. The victory margin for the BJP over the Congress was 9,752. Ambedkar’s VBA received 24,474 votes, thereby taking the Cong + VBA tally up to 1,01,868 votes, which is far higher than what the BJP polled.
In Akola West, the Congress received 70,669 votes, losing to the BJP by a small margin of 2,593 votes. The VBA, with 20,687 votes, secured more than the victory margin here as well.

In Daund, the NCP lost to the BJP by a mere 746 votes. The VBA polled a paltry 2,633 votes – but it was still more than the margin of 746.
VBA’s Disappointing Performance

The fledgling VBA, which contested its first Assembly election this time around, may have overreached by choosing to put up candidates in as many as 235 seats. In fact, the VBA is the party which contested the highest number of seats in Maharashtra.In hindsight, by contesting fewer seats and focusing the party’s energies on those specific constituencies it may have done better.
Though it won no seats, and came second in the following 9 constituencies.

  1. Akola East
  2. Akot
  3. Balapur
  4. Buldhana
  5. Kalamnuri
  6. Loha
  7. Murizapur
  8. Solapur City North
  9. Washim

 The VBA came third or lower in 226 of the 235 seats it fought.



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