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Are Shinde and Pawar necessary or forced in Maharashtra? Heavy tension for BJP in assembly elections

Nita Yadav

By Nita Yadav

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The BJP is facing a lot of challenges regarding the assembly elections in Maharashtra.

After the Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, the political activities regarding the assembly elections have intensified. Constituent parties of the Bharatiya Janata Party have boosted their morale after winning 30 of the state’s 48 Lok Sabha seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has dropped from 23 Lok Sabha seats to just 9 seats. Because of this, the BJP is facing two-pronged challenges, on the one hand it has to deal with the India Alliance and on the other hand it has to deal with its constituent parties. Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena and Ajit Pawar’s NCP have already stepped up their demands for assembly seats. In such a situation, the question is how important are Shinde and Ajit Pawar politically for the BJP?

After the defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, there is great tension for the BJP to retain power in the Maharashtra assembly elections. In such a scenario, to fix its political equation, BJP will have to resolve internal party differences and maintain coordination with NDA ally Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena and Ajit Pawar’s NCP. Looking at the political equation in the state, it is not only imperative for the BJP to keep both its allies strong but also to return to power.

Good performance of Bharat Gathbandhan in Lok Sabha

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde along with his deputies Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar and their parties, Shiv Sena, BJP and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are also part of the NDA coalition. On the other hand, the Congress has joined hands with Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena (UBT) and Sharad Pawar’s NCP, who are also part of the India alliance. In the recently held Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra, India Alliance performed brilliantly. All three allies of the Indian coalition (Congress 13 seats, Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena 9 seats and Sharad Pawar’s NCP 8 seats) won big.

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In the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP polled 26.18 per cent votes this time, compared to 27.8 per cent in 2019, while the NDA alliance got 43.6 per cent vote share. Bharat Gathbandhan got 43.9 percent votes. In terms of seats, the NDA alliance won 17 of the 48 seats in the state while the Alliance of India won 30 seats. In this election, BJP lost 23 seats to 9, its ally Shiv Sena won 7 seats and NCP won one seat.

Now a tough challenge in the assembly elections too

The BJP-led NDA is likely to face a tough challenge from the India Alliance in the assembly elections in Maharashtra. In such a situation BJP’s allied parties NCP and Shiv Sena have also started demanding seats. Shinde’s Shiv Sena has sought to contest at least 100 of Maharashtra’s 288 assembly seats, while Ajit Pawar’s NCP is seeking 90 seats. It will not be easy for the BJP to give the desired seats to its ally because even though Eknath Shinde is the Chief Minister of the state, the BJP is playing a big brother role.

Although the BJP is the single largest party in the state’s 288-member assembly with 105 MLAs, party leaders are aware that seat-sharing with alliance partners could be a tricky issue. Ajit Pawar and Eknath Shinde may not have shown much charisma in the Lok Sabha elections, but they are very important for the assembly elections. If one of the two allies leaves the BJP, there could be a problem in the assembly, as all three allies of the Bharatiya Janata Party are united.

What happens if you don’t fight with an ally?

If the BJP is not able to challenge Shinde’s Shiv Sena and Bharat Alliance with Ajit Pawar in the Lok Sabha elections, fighting without allies in the assembly could prove costly. The political chemistry between the Congress, Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar is looking very good in the state and they have planned to contest the 2024 assembly elections together.

To prepare for the Assembly elections in Maharashtra due in the next few months, the BJP is holding an important meeting on Wednesday, where it will deliberate on strategy from seat allocation to contesting the polls. In such a situation BJP has to maintain harmony with both its allies.

Nita Yadav

Nita Yadav

I am Nita Yadav, specializing in writing about politics and breaking national news. My focus is on delivering insightful and timely perspectives on these crucial topics, aiming to inform and engage my readers effectively.

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