UPA Maharashtra unit in despair over exit polls

UPA Maharashtra unit in despair over exit polls

There was despondency in the ranks of the UPA here on Tuesday, with exit polls indicating that the NDA would score a comfortable win in the state’s 48 parliamentary seats.


Nithin Belle

Published: Wed 14 May 2014, 8:40 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 5:51 PM

Exit polls have indicated the BJP and the Shiv Sena would win between 30 and 36 seats, almost the same numbers predicted by pre-poll surveys. Counting of votes begins on Friday and the complete results to the 543-seat Lok Sabha will be known by the end of the day.

The BJP is expected to win at least 20 seats and the Shiv Sena a dozen more. The NDA victory is likely to lead to a realignment of political forces in Maharashtra.

The NDA is expected to do well in the backward region of Vidarbha and in north Maharashtra, while the UPA is expected to perform well in its stronghold in western Maharashtra. Exit polls predict that unlike in 2009, the NDA is expected to make inroads in the Mumbai metropolitan area as well.

What is worrying the UPA camp — comprising the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) — is the looming state assembly elections due to be held by October. If current trends continue, the Hindutva parties could win the elections and come to power in Maharashtra.

The BJP-Sena combine has gained significantly thanks to the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) deciding not to field candidates against the BJP.

Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari had met MNS chief Raj Thackeray last month, seeking his party’s indirect support for the BJP. The Shiv Sena has been wary of the BJP veering towards the MNS and Uddhav Thackeray — the estranged cousin of Raj — has been lashing out at its loyal ally over the past few weeks. The Shiv Sena-BJP was in power in Maharashtra in 1995; however, the combine lost power in 1999. The UPA has been ruling Maharashtra since then.

But despite the political dominance of the state by the two combines, there are fears of a realignment of forces for the assembly elections. In the past, all the four major parties — the BJP, the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the NCP — have dallied with rivals in local bodies entering into alliances, despite state and national level groupings.


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