BJP alliance leads in Maharashtra, in close fight with Cong in Haryana
24 October 2019
The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is expected to retain power in Maharashtra and Haryana, although with a reduced strength, even as opposition parties, including the Congress, reported major gains in both the states. The BJP -Shiv Sena alliance looked set to return to power in Maharashtra for the second consecutive term, but with a reduced tally while the BJP was in a neck-and-neck fight with the Congress in Haryana.
Haryana assembly election results signal a close fight. The BJP was leading or has won in 40 seats, while the Congress was leading in 31 seats as counting of votes continued. Emerging possible kingmaker at this juncture is Jannayak Janata Party, lead by Dushyant Chautala. The party has won 10 seats already.
While counting of votes in the 2019 Maharashtra assembly elections is underway, the BJP-Shiv Sena combine had to cede some of the seats to the opposition alliance. The BJP has fallen short of the halfway mark on its own. The BJP fielded 150 candidates of its own while 14 seats went to other constituents of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Ally Shiv Sena contested on 124 seats.
The alliance has won or is ahead in 161 seats while the Congress-NCPalliance looked set to win 104 seats, even as counting was progressing. The state has 288 assembly constituencies.
In the 2014 Maharashtra assembly election, the BJP had contested on its own as the Shiv Sena refused to ally with its NDA partner. BJP had contested on 260 seats and won 122 in 2014. In 2019, it looks all set to win around 100 of the 150 it has contested, thus showing an improvement in its strike rate.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, still on the bargaining pitch, reminded the BJP of the 50:50 formula during government formation. "The 50-50 formula was decided when Amit Shah came to my house. It's now time to implement that formula. Discussions should be held and then it should be decided that who would be the Chief Minister (of Maharashtra)," said Thackeray.
He added that the Maharashtra mandate is an eye-opener for many.
Speaking about CM's post, the Shiv Sena chief, he said he is proud of his son Aaditya Thackeray, who won from Worli Assembly constituency in his electoral debut. "Being his father I am proud of him. I am happy that people gave him so much love."
The Congress-NCP alliance made bog gains in Maharashtra, mainly on the strength of strongman Sharad Pawar. In fact, Maharashtra Congress president Balasaheb Thorat defeated Shiv Sena's Sahebrao Navale by a margin of 62,252 votes to win Sangamner Assembly seat.
NCP leader Dhananjay Munde defeated his cousin and Maharashtra BJP minister Pankaja Munde in Parli Assembly seat. While he said he was both "joyous and pained," he thanked the people of his constituency for the "unprecedented victory".
"The people of Parli have given me an unprecedented victory. I thank them. My late father Anna (Gopinath Munde's elder brother Pandit Anna) wanted to see me win. How do I tell him that his son has won and that too in Parli?" said Dhananjay Munde.
Senior Nationalist Congress Party leader Supriya Sule thanked people of Maharashtra for showing faith in her party. She added that the mandate given by people cleared that they want somebody who will deliver superior results.
“I appreciate the trust and the faith and express absolute gratitude to people of Maharashtra for showing this faith in us. Today the country is stressing is about the economy, unemployment, price rise, farmers' issue being big challenges. Core issues are being left out. This mandate clearly tells you that people want somebody who will deliver superior results,” said Sule.
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis was leading from Nagpur South West constituency.
Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray, who made his political debut in 2019 Maharashtra Assembly Elections, won from the Worli Assembly constituency in Mumbai. The 29-year-old Yuva Sena chief trounced his NCP rival Suresh Mane by a margin of more than 70,000 votes.
Pramod (Raju) Ratan Patil of the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena wins from Kalyan Rural seat. He was pitted against Mhatre Ramesh Sukrya of Shiv Sena.
In Haryana, JJP's Dushyant Chautala is confident that he will play kingmaker. However, he has been non-committal so far about which party he will support.
Trends coming in from the Haryana assembly election results signal that this could be a close fight. The BJP is leading or has won in 40 seats, while the Congress is leading in 31 seats. Emerging possible kingmaker at this juncture is Jannayak Janata Party, lead by Dushyant Chautala. The party has won 10 seats already.
In spite of reports saying Manohar Lal Khattar is scheduled to meet Governor Satyadev Narayan Arya later this evening to stake his claim to form the government in the state, early trends in Haryana have showed a major shift in vote shares.
The BJP appears to have slipped drastically from its whopping 58% vote share in 2019 Lok Sabha polls to around 35 per cent. The drop of around 23 percentage points indicate that the BJP’s thrust on national issues like Centre move to dilute Article 370 over regional issues like employment and agrarian problems did not work much for it.
A party needs 46 seats to form the government in Haryana.
Several Haryana ministers, including Ram Bilas Sharma and Captain Abhimanyu, and state BJP chief Subhash Barala were looking like they may lose their seats, as per Election Commission trends.
Haryana assembly speaker Kanwar Pal, a BJP legislator from Jagadhri, was also trailing in his constituency behind Congress’s Akram Khan but is now comfortably in the lead with 52,065 votes as opposed to Khan’s 43,520.
Sharma, a five-time legislator, was trailing by a slim margin against Congress’s Rao Dan Singh. Abhimanyu, sitting MLA from Narnaund, has lost to JJP’s Ram Kumar Gautam.
State BJP chief Barala also lost the Tohana assembly seat in the Fatehabad district by a margin of 43,122 votes to Jannayak Janta Party’s Devender Singh Babli. He resigned from his post on Thursday afternoon.
Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda exuded confidence on Thursday morning that the “Congress will get a full majority” and “we will form the government”.
Hooda, who is contesting from Garhi Sampla-Kiloi, has led the party’s charge in these polls and has won with a 65 per cent share of votes from the constituency. Only about a month ago, he was made in charge of election management and the Congress Legislative Party.
The trends indicate that the BJP’s aspirations in the state are far from being fulfilled. The party, which won 47 seats in the 90-member House in 2014, went into the campaign with the slogan of “Abki baar 75 paar (This time over 75 seats)”. However, it appears to be stopping well short.
At the same time, the Congress seems to have gained a lot of ground when compared to both the 2014 assembly polls and 2019 parliamentary polls. It has increased its vote share by 10 percentage points, from around 20 per cent to 30 per cent, according to early trends. Its share may jump three percentage points if compared to the recent Lok Sabha polls. It had secured around 28 per cent but now seems to be inching towards a 31 per cent vote share.
The JJP, with more than 25 per cent vote share, seems to gaining at the cost of INLD, which has been reduced to less than 3 per cent votes – a drop of more than 20 percentage points compared to the 2014 assembly polls.