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Friday, December 06, 2019

Maharashtra govt formation Highlights: ‘Haven’t got any proposal from Sena, but if anything comes…’

Maharashtra Election Results 2019, Maharashtra Government Formation Live News Updates: "We have not received any proposal from Shiv Sena yet. But if anything comes from them, we will get in touch with the party high command in Delhi and see what can be worked out," state Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat said.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 25, 2019 10:37:24 pm
Maharashtra Congress Committee Chief Balasaheb Thorat was addressing a press conference on Friday. (ANI)

Maharashtra Government Formation Highlights: Even as the Shiv Sena continues to test BJP’s patience in the wake of Maharashtra Assembly election results, state Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat Friday did not rule out forging a post-poll alliance with the Uddhav Thackeray-led party. “We have not received any proposal from Shiv Sena yet. But if anything comes from them, we will get in touch with the party high command in Delhi and see what can be worked out,” Thorat was quoted as saying by ANI.

A day after the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance retained power in the state, Sena’s editorial mouthpiece Saamana took potshots at the saffron party over its poor performance and said the outcome was “a rap on the knuckles” and a “warning to rulers not to show arrogance of power”. BJP, however, has not cleared the air on its ally’s insistence on a 50-50 power sharing formula, where the two parties get equal control of the government. The BJP-Sena combine is set to meet Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and stake claim to form a government.

Meanwhile, Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar-led NCP bagged 54 seats while the Congress secured 44 seats. Together, they neared the three-digit figure, lending the Opposition more voice in the House.

Live Blog

After winning 161 of the 288 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is set to form government. Get the latest updates here.

Highlights

    22:37 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Will focus on creating pool of talented leaders: Pawar

    After a good show in the Maharashtra Assembly elections, the NCP will focus on creating a "good pool of leaders", party supremo Sharad Pawar said on Friday, ruling out any plan to support the Shiv Sena for keeping the BJP away from power. The NCP, which saw some prominent leaders leaving the party before the elections, ended up with 54 seats, ahead of ally Congress which won 44, though behind the saffron allies BJP and Shiv Sena which won 105 and 56 seats.

    Asked about the possibility of the NCP supporting the Shiv Sena to form a government and thus keeping the BJP away from power, Pawar told a news channel, "We want to create a good pool of leaders. I am more concerned about agriculture, industries and unemployment. "We want to focus on public concerns. So we have no interest in other things," he said. PTI

    22:28 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    New Legislative Assembly constituted, Maha CEO tells Guv

    Maharashtra Chief Electoral Officer Baldev Singh on Friday presented the list of 288 MLAs elected in the October 21 state polls to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan here. Results were declared on Thursday.

    The state CEO told the governor the new Maharashtra Legislative Assembly was now constituted with publication of the Election Commission notification containing constituency-wise and party-wise list of newly-elected MLAs. Principal Secretary of Election Commission of India Anuj Jaipuriyar, Additional Chief Electoral Officer Dilip Shinde and Joint Chief Electoral Officers Shirish Mohod and Anil Valvi were present. PTI

    22:11 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Maha assembly to have dozen first-time MLAs from Vidarbha

    There would be at least 12 first-time legislators from Vidarbha in the newly-elected Maharashtra assembly. Results of the assembly elections were declared on Thursday. Tekchand Savarkar of the BJP who won from Kamptee is making his debut in the legislature. In Nagpur West, cityCongress chief Vikas Thakre won his first election, defeating two-time BJP MLA and state minister Sudhakar Deshmukh. Raju Parwe of the Congress is the first-time MLA from Umred constituency.

    In Arjuni- Morgaon, Mohan Chandrikapureof the NCP defeated former minister and veteran BJP politician Rajkumar Badole. Independent candidate Kishore Jorgewar became first-time MLA by defeating Nana Shamkule of the BJP in Chandrapur. Other debutante legislators from Vidarbha are Raju Karemore (NCP) from Tumsar, Vinod Agrawal (Independent) from Gondia, Pratibha Dhanorkar (Congress) from Warora, Namdeo Sasane (BJP) from Umarkhed, Sahasram Karote (Congress) from Aamgaon, Indranil Naik (NCP) from Pusad and Narendra Bhondekar (Independent) from Bhandara. PTI

    21:22 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Paromita Goswami of AAP loses battle, not the will to fight

    She fought many a battle for people for two decades but when she decided to take the plunge in politics after realising that her effort as a social activist was constrained by several limitations, she received only about 3,500 votes. The AAP candidate in Maharashtra Assembly polls, however, is determined to continue the effort and approach the 2024 election doing everything it takes to make the transformation from the social to the political work.

    Paromita Goswami’s NGO Shramik Elgar at Mul in Chandrapur district has worked tirelessly on several issues concerning the poor and downtrodden, tribals and non-tribals in the district. Now she is sad that she received an abysmally low number of votes in the contest for the Brahmapuri seat. She, however, only blames herself for it. Read More

    20:53 (IST)25 Oct 2019

    Illuminated Shivsena Bhavan at Dadar. (Express Photo by Prashant Nadkar)
    Illuminated Shivsena Bhavan at Dadar. (Express Photo by Prashant Nadkar)

    20:50 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    ED case against Pawar Centre's conspiracy: NCP

    The NCP on Friday alleged that the ED case against its supremo Sharad Pawar is a conspiracy of the Narendra Modi government to brand opposition leaders as thieves and corrupt, a charge rubbished by the BJP. The allegation came in the wake of the Enforcement Directorate naming Pawar in a money laundering case and questioning NCP leader Praful Patel for alleged business deals with late Iqbal Mirchi, a Dawood Ibrahim aide.

    "The ED filed a case against Pawar. It is a conspiracy of the BJP, Modi and (home minister Amit) Shah to remove opposition leaders by painting them as thieves and corrupt," alleged NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik. "They said Patel is linked to Dawood and Mirchi to defame us during polls through electronic media," he added. Malik also called Devendra Fadnavis the "most corrupt and dishonest chief minister" in Maharashtra's history. PTI

    20:23 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    BJP-Sena bagged 56 of 75 Konkan seats, lion's share in Mumbai

    The ruling BJP-Shiv Sena put up a robust performance in Konkan, winning 56 out of 75 seats in the coastal region in the Maharashtra Assembly polls, the results of which were declared on Thursday. The Konkan region comprises the districts of Palghar, Thane, Mumbai, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg. The Shiv Sena won 30 seats while the BJP bagged 26 seats in the region. PTI

    19:25 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Assembly poll results show people have regained control: Chidambaram

    The BJP government was determined to take control, but the Haryana and Maharashtra poll results proved the other way, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, who is in the ED's custody in a graft case, said on Friday. The former finance minister congratulated Congress and NCP candidates who won in these assembly elections and said they "took on the might of the BJP and emerged victorious."

    Chidambaram lauded NCP chief Sharad Pawar, and senior Congress leaders Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Kumari Selja for leading from the front. "The BJP government was determined to take control over the people and institutions. The election results have shown that people have begun to regain control. "It is now the turn of the institutions to assert their independence. I hope they do not fail the people," a tweet on his account said. PTI

    18:37 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Strong presence of regional parties in Hry, Maha led to our defeat: AAP

    Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh on Friday said the crushing loss of the party in the Haryana and Maharashtra Assembly polls was due to a strong presence of regional parties in the two states. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) got less votes than those cast in favour of NOTA (none of the above) in Maharashtra and Haryana and lost in all the 70 seats it had contested in the two states.

    Responding to a question over AAP's poor polls show, Singh said in some seats, the presence of other regional parties was very strong. "That is why our central leadership did not participate in the campaigning in Maharashtra and Haryana. Our full focus is on Delhi," he said. The Assembly polls are due in the national capital, where the AAP is in power, early next year. The AAP had fielded candidates in 46 of the 90 seats in Haryana, while in Maharashtra, it had contested 24 seats. PTI

    17:56 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    No slogans against Pankaja, Dhananjay warns supporters

    NCP leader Dhananjay Munde, who defeated his cousin and sitting MLA Pankaja Munde in the Maharashtra Assembly polls held on October 21, on Friday stopped his supporters from raising slogans against the latter. The NCP leader beat Pankaja, a minister in the outgoing Devendra Fadnavis government, by a margin of over 30,000 votes in Parli in the state polls, results of which were announced on Thursday.

    The two have been bitter rivals through the five year tenure of the BJP-Shiv Sena government in the state, the rivalry peaking a couple of days before the polls due to a purported video showing Dhananjay Munde making objectionable remarks against Pankaja. PTI

    17:29 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Versova sees close contest, rebels give tough fight in Andheri East

    After each counting round concluded in Versova assembly on Thursday, the leading candidate would be different. Between BJP's incumbent MLA Bharati Lavekar, Congress' Baldev Khosa and Shiv Sena rebel candidate Rajul Patel, the contest was close enough to confuse supporters whether or not to bring out their stock of fire crackers. It was Lavekar who eventually emerged victorious but with a poorer winning margin than 2014.

    Rebels gave sitting MLAs a tough fight in two of Mumbai’s North west seats. In Andheri East too, rebel candidate Murji Patel was in close contest with Sena’s sitting MLA Ramesh Latke. Latke eventually took lead, winning with a margin of 16,965 votes. Congress came third with 27,951 votes. Read More

    16:49 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Haven’t got any proposal from Sena, but if anything comes…: Maha Cong chief

    In what could increase BJP's worries in Maharashtra over government formation, the state Congress Committee chief on Friday said: "We have not received any proposal from Shiv Sena yet. But if anything comes from them, we will get in touch with the party high command in Delhi and see what can be worked out. Thorat told ANI: "We (Congress and Nationalist Congress Party) will hold a meeting and decide about it."

    15:51 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Sena's Eknath Shinde to meet party chief Uddhav today

    Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde to meets Party president Uddhav Thackeray at Matoshree on Friday. Express photo by Prashant Nadkar
    Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde to meets party president Uddhav Thackeray at Matoshree on Friday. (Express photo by Prashant Nadkar)

    15:40 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Two pairs of brothers enter Maharashtra Assembly

    It is all in the family for a couple of newly-elected MLAs in Maharashtra as two pairs of brothers have made it to the legislative Assembly this time around. Late Congress leader Vilasrao Deshmukh's sons, Dhiraj and Amit, have emerged victorious from Latur Rural and Latur City assembly constituencies, respectively. Whereas in Solapur district, NCP's Baban Shinde and his brother Sanjay have won from Madha and Karmala Assembly seats, respectively.

    While Baban retained his Madha seat, defeating Shiv Sena's Sanjay Kokate by a margin of 68,245 votes, his younger brother Sanjay contested as an NCP-backed Independent in Karmala, defeating Sena rebel Narayan Patil by a margin of 5,494 votes. PTI

    15:27 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    12 women MLAs elected from BJP, 5 from Congress

    The BJP had fielded 17 women, of which 12 were elected. Its ally Shiv Sena had given tickets to eight women candidates, of which two emerged successful. Among the opposition parties, the Congress had fielded 14 women, of which five won, while the NCP had given tickets to eight women, of which three emerged victorious.

    The sitting MLAs who were elected are: Manda Mhatre (Belapur), Manisha Chaudhari (Dahisar), Vidya Thakur (Goregaon), Devyani Farande (Nashik Central), Seema Hiray (Nashik West), Madhuri Misal (Parvati), Monica Rajale (Shevgaon) and Bharati Lavhekar (Versova) - all from the BJP. From the Congress - Praniti Shinde (Solapur City Central), Yashomati Thakur (Teosa) and Varsha Gaikwad (Dharavi) retained their seats. On the NCP's side, Suman Patil retained her Tasgaon-Kavathe Mahankal seat in Sangli district. PTI

    14:55 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    New Maharashtra Assembly gets 24 women MLAs, 2 more than 2014

    As many as 24 women, including two independents, have made it to the new Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, two more than the outgoing house. Out of the 24 women MLAs declared elected on Thursday, half are first-timers. The outgoing Assembly has 22 women legislators. As many as 14 women elected in the October 21 polling belong to the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena alliance.

    14:31 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Sanjay Raut posts cartoon taking potshots at alliance partner BJP

    Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut posted a cartoon to take a dig at his party's senior alliance partner, the BJP. The cartoon, posted by Raut on his verified Twitter account, shows a tiger (Shiv Senas party symbol) wearing a clock locket (NCPs party symbol) sniffing a lotus (BJPs party symbol). While the post is captioned "bura na maano Diwali hai" to denote that it was made in jest, the underlined message echoes with what former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan sought to convey about the Sena, NCP and Congress coming together to prevent BJP from retaining power in Maharashtra.

    14:24 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Mixed fate for dynasts: Both Pawars win, Munde beats Munde

    The 2019 Assembly elections saw several second-generation leaders of political families in the fray, though not all of them managed to win their seats. While the saffron alliance has often criticised the decision by Congress and NCP to give tickets to dynasts, it didn’t shy away from fielding family members of its own leaders in this election. The alliance gave tickets to as many as 28 political heirs. The biggest losers from political families were state minister Pankaja Munde, the BJP candidate from Parli, and Rohini Khadse, the candidate from Muktainagar. Munde is the daughter of late BJP leader Gopinath Munde and Khadse is the daughter of senior BJP leader and ex-minister Eknath Khadse. Pankaja was defeated by her cousin Dhananjay Munde of NCP, while Khadse was beaten by Chandrakant Nimba Patil, an Independent candidate supported by the opposition alliance. BJP leader Hemant Savara, the son of former tribal development minister Vishnu Savara, was defeated by NCP leader Bhusara Sunil Chandrakant.

    14:17 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Maharashtra Assembly Elections Results 2019: Party leaders who switched prior to polls

    In Beed, Jaidutta Kshirsagar, a senior minister in the previous Congress-NCP government who had switched to the Shiv Sena after the Lok Sabha election, lost by a narrow margin to his nephew Sandeep, the NCP’s nominee. Vaibhav Pichad, another NCP legislator and son of former Maharashtra NCP president Madhukar Pichad, who had joined the BJP lost from Akole. NCP president Sharad Pawar had campaigned aggressively against Pichad and the Opposition had put up a united front against him. He lost to Dr Kiran Lahamte of the NCP by 57,689 votes.

    14:03 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Little luck for turncoats at the hustings

    Party hopping might have been the flavour of this election cycle in Maharashtra but it appeared not to have gone down well with voters as nearly 16 out of the 31 turncoats tasted defeat. Among those who failed the test are seven sitting legislators and former ministers Jaidutta Kshirsagar, Harshavardhan Patil, Dilip Sopal, Vaibhav Pichad, Nirmala Gavit, Anil Gote, Pandurang Barora, Bhausaheb Kamble and Vilas Tare – all of whom had walked over to join the ruling side in the run-up to the Assembly polls. Even rallies by the BJP and Shiv Sena’s star campaigners in their constituencies failed to benefit them.

    13:55 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Shiv Sena must re-work strategy to expand base in Maharashtra, say party leaders

    A Sena leader said the party needs to re-work its strategy to expand its base in the state. “After forging the alliance, it was being said that the BJP would attempt to finish the Sena and might not take us along in 2024 polls. So, we need to strategise things to keep the party relevant in the state,” said the leader. Another leader said the party might need to go beyond organising events to expand its reach. “The party involved the Prashant Kishor team for the Assembly polls and we held multiple events like Aaditya Sanvad and others. But it seems to have not worked in our favour during the polls.”

    13:48 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Maharashtra Asembly Elections Results 2019: Shiv Sena’s importance in alliance increases

    Despite fighting the polls in alliance with BJP, Shiv Sena’s tally of 56 seats — seven less than 2014 — in the Assembly polls has come as a shock to the party. The only consolation is that in spite of fewer MLAs, its heft in the alliance has increased as the BJP’s own tally has also dropped from 2014. The results are an indicator that the Sena’s game of hunting with the hounds and running with the hares — sharing power and conducting itself like an Opposition party when convenient — has not gone down well with the people, said party insiders. “The results clearly show that our double speak hasn’t worked for us, as we could not even retain our 2014 tally. Now, we will have to chart out our new path very carefully,” said a Sena functionary.

    13:44 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Maharashtra Assembly Elections Results 2019: VBA draws a blank, vote share dips

    Six months after its impressive debut with over 7 per cent of votes in Maharashtra at the Lok Sabha elections, the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) failed to impress in the Assembly elections, failing to win a single seat. While its candidates fared reasonably well in a few select seats, overall, its vote share fell significantly from its Lok Sabha performance. Set up as an alternative to the hegemony of established political parties, the VBA was an alliance of AIMIM led by Asaduddin Owasi and Prakash Ambedkar’s Bharatiya Republican Party Bahujan Mahasangh. The AIMIM, however, walked out of the alliance ahead of Assembly elections, citing disagreements in seat-sharing talks.

    13:40 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    MNS vote share dips to 2.3% from over 3.1% in 2014 polls

    The Raj Thackeray-led MNS has been able to win only one seat — Kalyan Rural, where Pramod Ratan Patil has won. The MNS’s vote share in Maharashtra has been in a free fall from the heady days of 2009 when it won 13 seats polling 5.71 per cent of votes. This dropped to 3.1 per cent in 2014 when it won one seat. It has now further come down to 2.3 per cent. After its initial plan not to contest, the MNS fielded 101 candidates. Raj Thackeray’s aggressive style of campaigning was hardly on show with many perceiving this change to the ED notice slapped on him in a money laundering case.

    13:39 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    AIMIM makes fresh inroads in state, fails to save its own turf

    The AIMIM made inroads in North Maharashtra winning two seats in Malegaon Central and Dhule City, but failed to save its own turf of Aurangabad Central and Byculla, where the party had won in 2014. After breaking ranks with Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, the Hyderabad-based party under the leadership of state president Imtiaz Jaleel had fielded 44 candidates in Maharashtra – the highest so far since Asaduddin Owaisi-led party started contesting elections in Maharashtra. Jaleel’s impetus on social engineering has seen AIMIM fielding 13 Hindu candidates. However, the selection of candidates had rankled the party’s old guard, many of whom were denied tickets and seemed to have worked against the party. Infighting affected the party’s prospects in Byculla and all the three seats of Aurangabad, from where the party had won the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Mufti Ismail won from Malegaon Central seat and Shah Faruk Anwar from Dhule City. Both these cities have a substantial Muslim population.

    13:34 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Coordination must between BJP, coalition govt in Maharashtra, say party leaders

    Moreover, BJP would have to rework its strategy to ensure greater coordination between organisation and coalition government. “At present, we have senior leader Chandrakant Patil holding the dual post of minister of revenue and BJP state president. If he is inducted in the new government as a minister, the party will have to look for a suitable president,” said a BJP leader.

    13:32 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Discontent within Maharashtra BJP need to be streamlined, say party leaders

    The BJP’s expansion in Maharashtra, coupled with being in power for two consecutive terms, would lead to rising aspirations among the cadre to have a share in the power hierarchy, said leaders. The simmering discontent within the organisation following the induction of “outsiders” — leaders imported from Congress and NCP in the run up to the polls — would have to be streamlined. The party is also under pressure to strike a balance as it expands its organisation. At present, it has enrolled 1.25 crore members — the highest in the country.

    13:29 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Maharashtra Assembly Elections Results 2019: As second term begins, BJP needs to put its house in order

    With its tally of seats witnessing a dip, the BJP’s foremost task would to set its own house in order. While the first priority would be to appoint a full-time state party president, the “rebel” factor that played a crucial role in these elections in a party, which always boasted of discipline, is a matter of concern. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, by terming the electoral outcome as a “grand victory”, may have helped to ward off the unrest immediately, but a party leader said: “Fadnavis will have to focus closely on fixing the faultlines, which have emerged within the organisation.”

    13:26 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Explained Forum: What the Maharashtra, Haryana election results teach us

    What are the big takeaways for BJP and Congress? Has nationalism and Article 370 affected the voting pattern? Did voters react to agrarian crisis, economy, and unemployment? Find all the answers here as The Indian Express, Online, discuss the results of Maharashtra and Haryana assembly election results.

    13:23 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Maharashtra Assembly Elections Results 2019: Bhosale's defeat was imminent, says Sanjay Raut

    Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut today told reporters, "Udayanraje Bhosale (descendant of Shivaji Maharaj) changed his side before the elections, his defeat was imminent. If he had to join BJP, he should have done it earlier. People had already decided that those who change their side should not remain in politics." 

    13:18 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    In Latur (Rural), NOTA is No. 2 with 27,500, ahead of Shiv Sena

    Meanwhile, the constituency of Latur (Rural) saw 27,500 voters choosing the ‘None of the Above’ (NOTA) option, the highest in the Maharashtra Assembly elections. NOTA polled the second highest number of votes — accounting for 13.78 per cent of the total votes counted in the seat. In the constituency, Congress candidate Dhiraj Deshmukh, son of former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, got 1,35,006 votes (67%). After Deshmukh and NOTA, Shiv Sena’s Sachin Deshmukh and VBA’s Baliram Done polled 13,524 and 12,966 votes, respectively.

    13:11 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Will sit in Opposition in Maharashtra, says Sharad Pawar

    NCP's Pawar also denied that the NCP was looking at being a part of the government. “The mandate of the people is that we sit in the Opposition and we will do that.” He added that people did not take too kindly to defectors. “This party hopping has not been accepted by the people. Those who have done so have prima facie been seen in a negative light,” Pawar said.

    13:09 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Call of ‘Abki Baar 220 Paar’ has not been accepted, says Sharad Pawar

    Sharad Pawar's statement was a swipe at Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who during campaigning has said that his party was ready for a wrestling match, but there was no “pahalwan” left in the ring. He had also taken swipes at Pawar, comparing him to the jailer played by actor Asrani in the film Sholay. Pawar claimed that people did not like BJP’s arrogance. “This government’s attitude of overlooking peoples’ problems has not been liked. The government and the CM’s approach in looking at problems has not been accepted by the electorate… The call of ‘Abki Baar 220 Paar’ has not been accepted by the people,” he added.

    13:04 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    ED probe against Sharad Pawar helps NCP win Maharashtra polls

    In the run up to the polls, the Enforcement Directorate had registered a money laundering case against Pawar, but the 79-year-old’s strategy to run an election on how he was being “targeted” as vendetta by the ruling regime seems to have found a connect with the voters. “In this election, what we have seen is that people do not take to kindly to people who get intoxicated with power. Power comes and goes and people have this expectation that you should be grounded. If you take a contrarian position to this, people do not take to it kindly,” Pawar said while reacting to the verdict.

    13:01 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Pushed to the wall, Sharad Pawar spearheads NCP resurgence

    NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s decision to decline an umbrella and continue with his speech amid a heavy downpour in Satara became the defining image of the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly elections. The party may have finished third in the elections, but it was largely due to Pawar’s assertive leadership that NCP managed to improve its winning tally from 41 seats in 2014 to 54 this time. Not long ago, the state and Pawar’s old associates seemed to have turned their backs on him with many quitting NCP to join either the BJP or the Shiv Sena. Pawar, rather than getting bogged down, decided to launch the comeback of his life, holding 66 rallies in the run up to the elections. Today, he stands as the lone Maharashtra politician with the maximum momentum going for him.

    12:57 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Poor ticket distribution, says former Mumbai Congress head

    Former Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam, who stayed away from the party’s poll campaign, blamed “poor ticket distribution” for its poor show. “We would have won four or five more seats if that had been done effectively,” he said. Saying that the party must introspect its downslide in Mumbai, he said “a frequent change of guard at the helm” had also impacted the party’s functioning. “The party needs to give the person it appoints as its face in Mumbai a good run. He should get more organisational freedom,” he said.

    12:50 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Mumbai: Shrinking base of Congress

    The Congress is grappling with infighting and factionalism in the Mumbai region. With the Shiv Sena claiming a bulk of the Maratha vote, and the BJP managing to win over the North Indian vote, the Congress’s support base in the city has shrunk considerably. Of the four seats which the Congress won in Mumbai, three — Mumbadevi, Malad, and Bandra (East) — have a strong minority presence, and the fourth, Dharavi, is a Dalit-dominated pocket.

    12:48 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Maharashtra Assembly Elections Results 2019: Congress-NCP loses out in urban areas

    While the Congress-NCP alliance put up a tough fight in the rural belts, it failed to bridge the gap in the urban areas. In the Mumbai Metropolitan Region alone, the Congress-NCP won just eight of the 60 seats, while the BJP-Sena won most of the remaining seats. The Congress ceded some ground in the commercial capital, winning just four of the 29 seats it had contested — it had won five seats in 2014. And the NCP, despite its impressive performance elsewhere, won only one seat in Mumbai — it had won none in 2014.

    12:46 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Maharashtra elections: Aaditya wins, first Thackeray to enter Assembly

    Shiv Sena leader and Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray became the first member of the Thackeray family to enter the Vidhan Sabha after his big win from the Worli constituency. Aaditya, who got a total of 89,248 votes, defeated his nearest rival, NCP’s Dr Suresh Mane, by a margin of 67,427 votes. While Mane polled 21,821 votes, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi’s Gautam Gaikwad got 6,572 votes. The constituency polled 6,305 NOTA votes as well. The Bahujan Samaj Party candidate from the seat got 1,932 votes. Celebrations had started early in the Sena office as early trends indicated a clear win for Aaditya. A large number of Sena workers and Yuva Sainiks also took to the streets in Worli.

    12:41 (IST)25 Oct 2019
    Maharashtra Assembly Elections Results 2019: Shiv Sena-BJP tally rises to five from three in Raigad district

    The Shiv Sena and BJP have increased their tally in the coastal Raigad district by winning five of the total seven Assembly constituencies. While the Shiv Sena won in three constituencies, its senior ally BJP secured two seats this time. In the 2014 elections, the Sena had won two seats and the BJP one in the district located adjoining Mumbai. The NCP and an independent candidate also bagged one seat each this time. Although the district was once considered a stronghold of the Peasants and Workers Party, it could not win even a single seat this time.

    Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and his family after voting in Nagpur on October 21. (Express file photo)

    Even as the ruling coalition parties won 161 of the 288 seats in the state Assembly, the poll results did not go according to script with the BJP suffering reverses in Vidarbha and Marathwada. Not only has Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis failed to retain the lead in Vidarbha, but his own victory margin, in Nagpur South-West, dropped from 59,000 votes to less than 50,000, though the party was hoping to scale it up to over a lakh.

    What came in the way of BJP plans was the pushback by Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar in the face of action by enforcement agencies against him and his colleague Praful Patel in the last days of the election campaign. His NCP won 54 seats, a gain of 13, compared to the 2014 assembly polls. Its ally Congress, which almost seemed to have given up, also bagged 44 seats, two more than in 2014. Together, they neared the three-digit figure, lending the Opposition more voice in the House.

    With its tally of seats witnessing a dip, the BJP’s foremost task would to set its own house in order.

    While the first priority would be to appoint a full-time state party president, the “rebel” factor that played a crucial role in these elections in a party, which always boasted of discipline, is a matter of concern.

    Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, by terming the electoral outcome as a “grand victory”, may have helped to ward off the unrest immediately, but a party leader said: “Fadnavis will have to focus closely on fixing the faultlines, which have emerged within the organisation.”

    The party’s expansion, coupled with being in power for two consecutive terms, would lead to rising aspirations among the cadre to have a share in the power hierarchy, said leaders.