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With Zero Seats In the Bag So Far, Congress May Be Heading to Its Worst Defeat in Maharashtra

The party's previous lowest total was in 2014, when it had won two Lok Sabha seats in the second-largest state.


Updated:May 23, 2019, 4:00 PM IST
With Zero Seats In the Bag So Far, Congress May Be Heading to Its Worst Defeat in Maharashtra
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New Delhi: If current trends hold in Maharashtra, it is possible that the Congress will end its tally in the second-largest state with a duck.

Right now, the party’s only hope is pinned on its candidate from Chandrapur, who is maintaining a slim lead. If eventual results bear out these trends, it will be the Congress's worst performance in the state since its inception, even lower than the two seats it won here in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Last time, the party had won Nanded and Hingoli, one of which was Congress strongman Ashok Chavan’s seat.

The trends in the first half of the day suggest that the Congress is losing big in the western state, with the party unable to maintain leads in any of 48 Lok Sabha seats.

When the counting began, the Congress had zero leads. The BJP-Shiv Sena leads kept increasing as the counting progressed. While the Congress led in Sindhudurg-Ratnagiri for a while, it could not sustain it. Chavan was expected to hold his seat this time, but even he has been trailing since morning.

According to trends, there is currently zero hope for the Congress in Maharashtra. The BJP-Sena alliance was leading in 41 seats while Congress ally Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) managed to maintain lead in five.

Despite a lot of efforts by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, who held five rallies in the state, he has been unable to make a dent in the BJP-Sena’s tally.

Even support from the NCP has been unable to revive the party marred by infighting. The Congress ally is ahead in four seats — Raigarh, Satara, Baramati and Shirur — and in Amravati seat in which the NCP is backing an independent.

In 2009, the Congress had won 17 seats in the state with a vote share of 19.6%. But the Sena and BJP together scalped 20 seats. In 2004, both the BJP and the Congress had won 13 seats each. The BJP started improving its tally in the state since 1996 when it won 18 seats. The tally dipped to just four in 1998, but the BJP jumped up to 13 seats in 1999.

This backlash is expected to badly affect the Congress in the coming Assembly elections in Maharashtra later this year. On the other hand, it will help boost the morale of BJP cadre.

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