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BJP-led combine bags 42 of 48 seats

BJP leader Kirit Somaya

The BJP-Shiv Sena led alliance dealt a resounding defeat to the ruling Congress-NCP combine in Maharashtra winning 42 of the 48 seats in the state

BJP leader Kirit SomayaMumbai: Riding a ‘Modi wave’ and capitalizing on anti incumbency, the BJP-Shiv Sena led alliance dealt a resounding defeat to the ruling Congress-NCP combine in Maharashtra winning 42 of the 48 seats in the state.

BJP won 23, Shiv Sena 18 and ally Swabhimani Paksh one, while Congress managed just two and NCP four, a far cry from the Congress tally of 17 and NCP’s 8 in the outgoing Lok Sabha.

As the Opposition gunned for him, demanding his resignation and a snap poll, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said he “fully owned moral responsibility” for the debacle.

Several political bigwigs were trounced, including Union ministers Sushilkumar Shinde, Praful Patel and Pratik Patil, senior NCP leader and former deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal and nine-term Congress MP Manikrao Gavit.

Industry minister Narayan Rane, whose son Nilesh failed to retain the coastal Sindhudurg-Ratnagiri seat, resigned from the state cabinet, owing moral responsibility for the defeat.

Another Congress minister Nitin Raut also quit after former BJP president Nitin Gadkari won from Nagpur, defeating Vilas Muttemwar of Congress.

The Aam Aadmi Party, which was the only party to field candidates in all 48 seats, ended with a dud, as did the Raj Thackeray-led MNS, which put up nine candidates.

Notable losers also included social activist and AAP nominee Medha Patkar, and Congress MP Priya Dutt who was trounced by BJP leader late Pramod Mahajan’s daughter Poonam Mahajan.

Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde retained the Beed seat, defeating NCP minister Suresh Dhas, in one of the keenly watched fights in the state.

Congress’s Ashok Chavan, who had to step down as chief minister in the aftermath of Adarsh scam, and Youth Congress chief Rajeev Satav won from Nanded and Hingoli seats respectively.

Sharad Pawar’s NCP did marginally better winning four seats. His daughter and sitting MP Supriya Sule retained Baramati, while Vijaysinh Mohite Patil won Madha seat for the party. Sharad Pawar had won from Madha in 2009 but chose to enter Rajya Sabha earlier this year.

Going to the hosting for the first time after the demise of Bal Thackeray, Shiv Sena under son Uddhav not only posted an emphatic win with 18 seats in its kitty, but also showed cousin Raj Thackeray’s MNS, fighting for the same political space, its place.

Earlier best performance by the BJP-Sena combine was in 1996 when they had together won 33 seats, with BJP bagging 18 and Shiv Sena 15. The alliance had won 10 seats in 1998, 28 in 1999 and 25 in 2004.


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