The Congress-NCP, which was betting on the “discontent” among the tribal population and growing agrarian distress, failed to swing votes in its favour, with the results, declared on Thursday, clearly indicating that these factors played no role in the way people cast their votes in the region.
Of the six Lok Sabha seats in North Maharashtra, the BJP won from Raver, Dhule, Nandurbar, Jalgaon and Dindori, and the Shiv Sena from Nashik.
In Nandubar, in spite of a growing discontent against the young BJP MP Dr Heena Gavit, the Congress failed to whip up a momentum to tip the scale in its favour.
The opposition faced another setback in Nashik, where Sameer Bhujbal, nephew of former state Deputy Chief Minister Chaggan Bhujbal, was defeated by Shiv Sena’s Hemant Godse. There was a perception that Bhujbal, who had spent close to two years in jail on charges of corruption, would be able to ride on a “sympathy wave” in Nashik district, his erstwhile bastion.
There had been large-scale internal dissensions in the BJP in the run up to the elections, which manifested itself in brawls between BJP party workers. The Modi factor, however, seemed to have trumped all internal political dissension in the region.
The BJP’s state leadership was also nimble-footed in adapting to the fluid political situation in the region. The party had no qualms in absorbing dissident NCP leaders and handing them tickets at the expense of sitting MPs. It also took into consideration the party workers’ inputs and replaced candidates after evaluating public perception.