Sympathy for Uddhav-Pawar, Maratha Ire: 5 Reasons Why BJP & NDA Lost Maharashtra

As Congress, Uddhav & Sharad Pawar emerge stronger in Maharashtra, here's why BJP-NDA lost the Lok Sabha elections.

3 min read
  • The Bharatiya Janata party-led NDA has lost half the seats in Maharashtra

  • The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and INDIA bloc has won Maharashtra

  • Ajit Pawar's NCP and Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena have won less seats than Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray

These are some of the major headlines from the Lok Sabha election results in Maharashtra, the state with second-highest seats after UP and the state with the most unstable politics in the past five years.

Defying most exit polls predictions, which gave over 30 seats to the NDA, the BJP-Shinde-Ajit Pawar alliance has secured 18 out of 48 seats in the state, while the INDIA bloc has bagged 29 seats. This is a major dip in the NDA's tally in the state which had won 41 seats, both in 2014 and 2019.

As Congress, Uddhav & Sharad Pawar emerge stronger in Maharashtra, here's why BJP-NDA lost the Lok Sabha elections.

So, what went wrong for the Devendra Fadnavis-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Maharashtra?


Breaking Parties Didn't Go Down Well

The sympathy factor has clearly led to both Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena performing better than the breakaway factions that joined hands with the BJP.  Out of the 21 seats it contested, Sena UBT comfortably bagged a lead in 11, which is over 50% of the seats, while Eknath Shinde's party won just about 5-6 out of the 14 seats that his party contested.

A united NCP in 2014 won four seats. Sharad Pawar's NCP has not only bagged three of those four seats this time, but also won more. Ajit Pawar's NCP, meanwhile, retained only the Raigad seat with his party, which a united NCP won the last time.

Congress is the Biggest Winner

Maharashtra is one of the states where the Congress has resurrected itself. After winning two seats in 2014, and just one seat in 2019, it has managed to gain at least 10 more seats this time.

The Congress managed to recapture seats that it lost to the NDA in 2014, including Gadchiroli Chimur, Latur, Nanded, and Nandurbar.

Nanded was, in fact, Ashok Chavan's bastion, who moved to the BJP a few months ago.


NDA Tally Falls in Mumbai

The NDA had won all six seats in Mumbai in 2019 - three by BJP and three by a united Shiv Sena. This time, the BJP comfortably led in only two - Mumbai North and Mumbai North central.

This time, the Sena (UBT) bagged three seats — Mumbai South, Mumbai South Central, and Mumbai North East, while Mumbai Congress chief Varsha Gaikwad won Mumbai North Central in a tight race with BJP's Ujjwal Nikam.

Interestingly, Shiv Sena (Shinde) candidate Ravindra Waikar won the Mumbai North-West seat against Sena (UBT)'s Amol Kirtikar by merely 48 votes.

The only seat the BJP comfortably won in Mumbai was Piyush Goyal's Mumbai North constituency.


Heavy Losses in Marathwada

The ire of Marathas around the reservation issue has clearly cost the BJP in Marathwada. Out of the eight seats — Nanded, Beed, Jalna, Latur, Aurangabad, Hingoli , Osmanabad, and Parbhani — the BJP won four seats in 2019, while the united Shiv Sena won three.

This time, however, the INDIA bloc won 6 of the 8 seats with Sena (UBT) bagging three seats and Congress winning three.


INDIA Alliance's Gains in Vidarbha

Once a region dominated by the Congress, the BJP-Shiv Sena combined won 8/10 seats in Vidarbha in 2019 with both parties winning four each, Amravati being bagged by independent candidate Navneet Rana, and the sole seat that Chandrapur seat that the Congress won in the state.

This time however, Congress resurged in the region by winning 5/10 seats, while the Sena (UBT) and NCPSP won one each. In the NDA, the BJP won two seats in the region while the Shiv Sena (Shinde) won one.

Like Marathwada, the Maratha reservation factor and the sentiment that the BJP and NDA are 'anti- Maratha', has clearly played in both regions which are dominated by the Marathas.

From the results, three factors are clear:

  • The INDIA bloc has clearly dented the NDA in Maharashtra

  • Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena and Ajit Pawar's NCP clearly failed to charm the voters as the BJP had expected

  • The Maha Vikas Aghadi is something the BJP will obviously have to watch out for in the upcoming Assembly elections in the state.

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