The Congress party suffered its worst-ever performance in Maharashtra, once considered its stronghold, winning just two of 48 seats. The Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance could wrest only six seats in all, compared to the 42 that the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party won along with allies.
This wipeout is a dramatic shift from 2009 when Maharashtra contributed a major chunk of 25 MPs to the UPA government.
The loss of mandate is being attributed to a combination of the Modi wave and anti-incumbency against the 15-year rule of the Congress-NCP government. It raises serious questions on whether the alliance would be able to retain power in the State, which goes to the polls in October.
The Shiv Sena–BJP alliance has called for the dismissal of the State government and the resignation of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. “We are confident this result will be repeated in the Maharashtra [Assembly] elections,” said Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
The saffron combine inflicted massive defeats on heavyweights from the Congress and the NCP. Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde lost in Solapur. Sitting Congress MPs Milind Deora and Priya Dutt were defeated in Mumbai. Union Minister Praful Patel, State Cabinet Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and Congress Minister Narayan Rane’s son Nitesh Rane from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg too found themselves on the losing side. In a shock defeat, the Congress even lost in Nandurbar, which it had retained since Independence.
The debacle was so complete that the Congress-NCP lost all the six Mumbai seats it had won in 2009 and drew a blank in Vidarbha and Khandesh.
However, former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan from the Congress won from Nanded in his first election after the Adarsh scam.
Both Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and the Aam Aadmi Party failed to make a dent in this election.