State of play – Maharashtra: The battle of two alliances


After the division of three states in 2001, Maharashtra became politically the second largest state in the country after UP.


The Congress and the BJP split the seats in 1989 and 1991, then came two turning points

The Ayodhya movement, the subsequent riots and then bomb blasts in Mumbai seem to have hit the Congress; the gainer was the Shiv Sena in 1996

The Congress recovered in 1998, but Sharad Pawar broke away to form the Nationalist Congress Party that split the Congress vote-bank; since then, the Congress count has been limited between 10 and 17

Since 2004, the battle has been of two alliances, Congress-NCP vs BJP-Shiv Sena

The NCP has never managed to exceed the Congress tally

The Shiv Sena, though, has been won more seats than the BJP since 1998

Politics is entering a new phase here with the splintering of the Sena, the emergence of Raj

Thackeray whose MNS can split the Sena base vote, the death of Bal Thackeray, and overtures from the NCP
to the Sena