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Congress-NCP to Gain Some Ground in Maharashtra But BJP-Shiv Sena Set for Comeback, Predict Exit Polls

The BJP and Shiv Sena had swept Maharashtra in the 2014 general polls, winning 42 of the 48 seats, leaving four seats for the NCP and two for the grand old party.

News18.com

Updated:May 20, 2019, 7:17 PM IST
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Congress-NCP to Gain Some Ground in Maharashtra But BJP-Shiv Sena Set for Comeback, Predict Exit Polls
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray during a rally ahead of the election.
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New Delhi: Several pollsters have shown between mild to strong revival of the Congress and NCP in Maharashtra, which with 48 seats, sends the second-most number of MPs in Lok Sabha after Uttar Pradesh.

The News18-IPSOS Exit Poll has forecast 42-45 seats for the BJP and Shiv Sena, while the Congress and NCP combine will win four to six seats

The India Today-Axis poll has shown the BJP and Shiv Sena getting 38-42 seats and UPA bagging between six to 10 seats.

The ABP Neilsen has predicted the BJP and Sena getting 34 seats and Congress-NCP getting 14 seats.

A poll of polls published by the NDTV showed BJP+Sena combine winning 36 seats and Congress+NCP having to contend with just 11 seats.

The BJP and Shiv Sena had swept Maharashtra in the 2014 general polls, winning 42 of the 48 seats, leaving four seats for the NCP and two for the grand old party.

The decimation of the Congress was such that it lost even Nandurbar in the north and Sangli in the west, seats it had never lost since 1962.

The NDA has banked mainly on ‘Brand Modi’, the Balakot air strike and Hindutva as it hopes for a repeat of 2014, while the Congress and NCP, bereft of a leader with similar appeal, strived to keep the campaign focused on local issues and highlighted farmer distress and unemployment.

The state effectively witnessed a direct fight between the ruling and opposition alliances in a majority of the constituencies, although Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, floated by BR Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar, could play spoilsport for the both parties as it may wean away Dalit and Muslim votes from the NDA and UPA, respectively.

Internal friction, bitterness and uneasiness in both opposition alliances marred the electoral strategies and let momentum slip to an extent.

The Shiv Sena, which had driven a hard bargain to contest on 23 seats, has acted more like the primary opposition party in the last four years and it remains to be seen whether the two were able to convince voters that trouble in their marriage is over.

The Congress and NCP, who fought on 22 seats each, had a rocky path as they were hit by defections after the two failed to come to a consensus on some seats.

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