BJP-Shiv Sena set to retain power in Maharashtra
The Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena alliance is set to retain power for a second consecutive term after it secured 161 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, as per the Election Commission of India (ECI) figures.
The BJP won 105 seats while ally Shiv Sena bagged 56 seats, crossing the half-way mark of 144 seats.
Both parties, incidentally, saw a decline in their seat tally in comparison to the 2014 elections. The saffron parties had contested the previous polls separately, during which BJP won 122 seats and the Sena ended up with 63 seats.
The opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), meanwhile, emerged as the biggest ‘gainer’ in the recent polls. The Sharad Pawar-led party won 54 seats in 2019 elections, 13 more than last time.
Its ally, the Indian National Congress, won 44 seats compared to 42 in 2014 polls.
Among the smaller parties and independents, the Bahujan Vikash Aghadi had won three seats, while the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, Prahar Janshakti Party and Samajwadi Party emerged victorious in two seats each.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Swabhimani Shetkari Party, CPI(M), Rashtriya Samaj Party, Jan Surajya Party and the Krantikari Shetkari Party have bagged one seat each.
Besides, as many as 13 independents were declared victorious across the state.
While the Congress has said it bows before the peoples” verdict, the NCP has offered support to the Shiv Sena if it was willing to form a government.
However, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis countered the speculation by asserting that the next government will be formed by the ”Maha-Yuti”.
However, the Sena President Uddhav Thackeray virtually staked claim to the post of CM by “reminding” the BJP of its 50:50 power-sharing formula finalized before the Lok Sabha elections.
He said the Sena was ready to discuss it with anybody including BJP President Amit Shah and was in “no hurry” to form the government without discussions with his party leaders.
Sena is projecting Uddhav’s son Aaditya – who fought and won his first-ever election from Mumbai’s Worli constituency – as a CM candidate.