Exit poll results come true, BJP creates history

  • Exercise afoot to form BJP govts in Maharashtra, Haryana

  • BJP falls short of majority, may opt to partner with Shiv Sena, not NCP

  • Rajnath for Mumbai, Venkaiah for Chandiagarh on Monday to oversee

(K. Kaushik)

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Sushma Swaraj, Modi, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley

New Delhi, October 19: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has scored a thumping victory once again. This time it was in Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections. While in Haryana the BJP has got a clear mandate to form a government on its own, it fell short of a simple majority in Maharashtra and needs 22 seats to be able to form a government. The BJP Parliamentary party has decided to send Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister and former president of the party, to Mumbai on Monday along with Vice President JP Nadda to attend the first BJP legislature party meeting and take a decision on formation of the new government. Similarly, another veteran leader, past president of the party and Union Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs M Venkaiah Naidu would be going to Chandigarh along with another Vice President of the party Dinesh Sharma to help form the first ever BJP government in Haryana.

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Modi and Shah

The BJP parliamentary party today decided that the party would be forming governments in Maharashtra and Haryana. The meeting under the chairmanship of party president Amit Shah was held after the historic victory scored by the BJP in both states.

While the top most feature of the results of the assembly elections announced on Sunday was the continuation of the Modi wave which swept the Lok Sabha polls in May this year, the other most important factor that emerged in this election is that MIM, a Hyderabad based party led by Owaisis, has for the first time won three seats in Maharashtra assembly thus opening its account in the western state. MIM’s debut in Maharashtra elections is a phenomenon that has to be taken note of by the BJP and the Shiv Sena which did not field a single Muslim candidate in this election and which might form the government without a single representative from the Muslim community which has considerable presence in the state.

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Uddhav Thackeray with Modi

The third important development is that no party so far since 1990 has won more than 100 assembly seats in Maharashtra. BJP-Shiv Sena earlier and Congress-National Congress Party (NCP) later ruled the state through coalition governments. As almost equal partners, no party could contest for more that 60 percent of the 288 seats in Maharashtra assembly and, as a result, no party was in a position to win more than a hundred seats. The Shiv Sena and the BJP were in alliance for 25 years and the Congress and the NCP were together for 15 years. Only in this elections both the alliances broke resulting in a four-corner contest with the fifth dimension being provided by Raj Thackeray of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) who came a cropper this time.

The BJP has bagged 123 seats while the SS got 62, Congress 42 and the NCP 41 seats. Sharad Pawar, a clever politician, has played a trick of sorts by offering outside support to the BJP which fell short of simple majority. But the BJP refused to accept the offer and is most likely to have a tie-up with the Shiv Sena by offering its chief Uddhav Thackeray the deputy chief minister post. Party president Amit Shah has reported called Uddhav from Delhi and spoke to him about revival of the alliance which broke just before the elections. This information came from Shiv Sena sources and the BJP sources vehemently denied it. BJP said Amit Shah did not speak to Uddhav Thackeray.maha result graf 1 copy

Nadda, who briefed the media after the meeting of the BJP parliamentary party, described the victory in two states as endorsement by the people of Narendra Modi’s leadership and the decisions he has taken as PM in the last four months. He said it is the vindication of credible leadership of Narendra Modi and the extraordinary organizational skills of Amit Shah. Modi and Shah are two leaders who carved two victories in two states, the party sources said.

Even before the final vote was counted Praful Patel of NCP announced that his party has offered support from outside to the government to be formed by the BJP. He said there is no backroom understanding with the BJP and it is only an offer made by his party on its own. It is for the BJP to accept or reject its offer. This stratagem is aimed at reducing the bargaining power of the Shiv Sena.

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Amit Shah

Amit Shah, briefing the media earlier in the evening said it was Modi tsunami. He said the BJP has proved a point to its former ally Shiv Sena by winning more seats than it offered to contest in its talks with the latter on seat-sharing. Shah told the media that it is true the NCP has offered unconditional support from outside and the party has not taken a decision on this. He also claimed it was not the BJP that was responsible for breaking the alliance with the Shiv Sena. The dispute over three seats had resulted in the breakup, he said. He also said that Shiv Sena has always been a friendly party. He gave enough indications to the effect that his party would at last go with the Shiv Sena, a known devil, rather the NCP. The BJP sources made it clear, however, that the party would not accept any proposal from Shiv Sena suggesting rotation of CM.

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Sharad Pawar

Though Sharad Pawar has bowled a googly to escape corruption charges, the BJP is unlikely to walk into the trap. Modi during his whirlwind campaign in Maharashtra had described NCP as the National Corrupt Party. He promised to get the charges of corruption against minister in the outgoing government investigated and punish those who were found guilty. Ajit Pawar, Sharad’s nephew, faces a plethora of corruption charges. Many ministers belonging to NCP have tainted reputation although the Congress ministers were no better. In such a background the BJP is not likely to take the bait offered by the NCP. There is no othergo for the Shiv Sena except walking back into a coalition with the BJP. Sena sources have been indulging in kite flying since Sunday afternoon that Sena has no objection to the idea of having BJP chief minister and Shiv Sena deputy chief minister.

Thing would be more clear on Monday when Rajnath Singh would land in Mumbai.

As far as Haryana is concerned, the way is clear for the BJP which won 47 of the 90 assembly seats. The National Lok Dal (NLD) of Chowthala has won 20 seats while the Congress could bag only 15 seats and the earstwhile partner of the BJP, the HJC has got just 2 seats.

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The Congress party has ended up in third position in both the states. The job of Venkaiah Naidu would be easier compared to that of Rajnath Singh. Selection of the chief minister would be a difficult proposition.

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