BJP-Sena Sweep in Ma­ha­rash­tra, May Win 32 Seats

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - RO­HIT CHANDAVARKAR

Most exit polls on Mon­day pre­dicted a saf­fron sweep in Ma­ha­rash­tra, with the BJP-Shiv Sena al­liance likely to win any­thing be­tween 31 and 33 seats. The Congress-NCP com­bine will take abig­knock,with­it­stal­ly­ex­pect­ed­tobe some­where­inthere­gionof 13-16seats; it had bagged 25 seats in the 2009 Lok Sabhaelections.

If the exit poll pre­dic­tions hit the mark, then it will be a saf­fron surge in the Congress Party’s tra­di­tional bas­tion in Ma­ha­rash­tra, con­sid­ered the fi­nan­cial cap­i­tal of In­dia. Among the fac­tors that could have con­trib­uted to the BJP-Sena’s resur­gence in the state, apart from the Naren­dra Modi wave in cities such as Mum­ba­iandPune,arethedis­en­chant­ment of vot­ers against the Con­gressNCP c o mbi n e whi c h r u l e d Ma­ha­rash­tra for 15 years. Also, the grow­ing re­sent­ment of farm­ers in Vi­darb­haandMarath­wada­could­have in­flu­enced poll re­sults. BJPandShivSe­nawel­comedthe­exit poll pre­dic­tions. “We are very happy with the exit poll pre­dic­tions for Ma­ha­rash­tra, and in fact, feel that we will sur­pass them and do even bet­ter than what has been as­sessed,” said BJP na­tional spokesper­son Prakash Jawdekar.

But­therulin­gal­liance,es­pe­cial­lythe Na­tion­al­ist Congress Party (NCP), sound­ed­s­cep­ti­cal.“Ex­it­poll­shavepre­dicted that NCP will win six seats in Ma­ha­rash­tra, but our as­sess­ment show­sthatwewil­l­win­more­seat­sthan last time. We will reach dou­ble digit fig­ure,” said NCP’s na­tional trea­surer He­man­tTakle.

The exit polls, con­ducted by re­gional news chan­nels in the state, gave Congress 9, NCP 6, Shiv Sena 11 and BJP 21 seats in Ma­ha­rash­tra. Which means,theBJP-Se­na­com­binewil­l­win 32seatswhileCongress-NCPwill­get15 seats, and one seat is likely to go to the AamAadamiParty(AAP).

In 2009, the over­all voting in Ma­ha­rash­tra was 51.7%, while this year, it went up sig­nif­i­cantly to 61.0%, as per the fig­ures pro­vided by the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion. Much of the in­crea­seinthevot­ing­per­cent­ageis­be­ing at­trib­uted to anti-in­cum­bency vote that­grow­soutof re­sent­ment.

In the Mum­bai re­gion, in­clud­ing Mum­bai city and Thane district, the BJP-Sena which man­aged only one seat in 2009, could win as many as 7 seats in this elec­tion, ac­cord­ing to the exit polls.

Ac­cord­ing to the exit polls done by re­gional chan­nels, the BJP-Shiv Sena com­bine is likely to make the big­gest gains in the Vidarbha re­gion where it is ex­pected to win 9 out of the 10 seats.

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