Election results 2024: MVA turnaround gives jolt to BJP-Shinde-led Mahayuti in Maharashtra

Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole says the people of the country had taught a befitting lesson to the ‘arrogant, dictatorial government’ led by the BJP; Congress emerges as party with most seats in the State; Sharad Pawar’s NCP (SP) puts up a dazzling performance by snaring seven of the 10 seats it contested on

Updated - June 05, 2024 01:17 am IST

Published - June 04, 2024 10:41 pm IST - Pune

Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders Uddhav Thackeray, Aaditya Thackeray, and South Central Mumbai candidate Anil Desai after the results in Sena Bhavan in Mumbai on Tuesday.

Shiv Sena (UBT) leaders Uddhav Thackeray, Aaditya Thackeray, and South Central Mumbai candidate Anil Desai after the results in Sena Bhavan in Mumbai on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

In a bravura turnaround, the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) dealt a rude jolt to the ruling Eknath Shinde-led Mahayuti alliance in the Lok Sabha results by leading on 29 of the 48 seats in Maharashtra, with the Opposition Congress having a remarkable renaissance to emerge as the single-largest party in the State by leading on 13 constituencies.

The ruling Mahayuti led on barely 17 of the 49 seats.

While Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena (UBT) led on nine of the 21 seats it contested, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (SP) put up a dazzling performance by snaring seven of the 10 seats it contested on, suggesting that the electorate had decisively rejected the manner in which the undivided Shiv Sena and the NCP were split in coups abetted by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The ruling BJP was leading on just 10 of the 28 seats it contested. Despite the Election Commission awarding the original names and party symbols to Chief Minister Shinde’s Shiv Sena and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar’s NCP, both factions performed poorly.

Mr. Shinde’s ruling Sena faction was leading on just five of the 15 seats it contested on while Mr. Ajit Pawar’s NCP could win just one of the four seats it fought, crashing in the high-stakes, fiercely-contested Baramati Lok Sabha seat in Pune district.

A consolation for Mr. Shinde was that he retained his bastion of Thane where his aide Naresh Mhaske supplanted the sitting MP, Shiv Sena (UBT)’s Rajan Vichare while Mr. Shinde’s son, incumbent MP Shrikant Shinde, retained the Kalyan-Dombivli seat for the third time with a handsome margin.

Maharashtra Lok Sabha election results 2024: Highlights

For all the bitter rhetoric of “diluted Hindutva” and “fake Shiv Sena” aimed at him by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr. Shinde, Mr. Thackeray proved his Sena (UBT) faction was the “King of Mumbai”, as the MVA clinched five of the six Lok Sabha seats in Maximum City.

Mr. Thackeray’s gains suggested that the rank-and-file Shiv Sainiks still remained with him even as the former CM carved a new, inclusive vote-base for the Sena (UBT) which included minorities and Dalits.

The Congress’s revival in Maharashtra (it had won just one seat of 48 in 2019) saw the party storming the Vidarbha and Marathwada regions by winning seven of the 10 seats in Vidarbha.

While BJP stalwart Nitin Gadkari held his own in Nagpur, the Congress juggernaut snared Chandrapur (in Vidarbha), where Pratibha Dhanorkar - the widow of deceased Congressman Suresh Dhanorkar – toppled Maharashtra Minister and senior BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar.

In Marathwada, Congress (and MVA) candidates staged a series of major upsets, as Balwant Wankhede trounced the BJP’s Navneet Rana in Amravati. Congress candidate Kalyan Kale emerged as a giant killer by defeating five-term incumbent Jalna MP, Union Minister Raosaheb Danve of the BJP.

It was in the sugar heartland of western Maharashtra where the MVA’s turnaround bore the imprimatur of Mr. Sharad Pawar’s canny strategising.

Lok Sabha election results 2024: Highlights

The MVA led on seven of the 10 seats in western Maharashtra, with incumbent Baramati MP Supriya Sule effortlessly defeating her rival – Mr. Ajit Pawar’s wife Sunetra Pawar despite a high-decibel campaign by the Mahayuti.

“I know the mindset of Baramatikars for 60 years. They have remained loyal to us. Therefore I was confident that they would remain loyal this time too and show the right path to those who have chosen the wrong path,” said Mr. Sharad Pawar, speaking in Mumbai.

Mr. Sharad Pawar got the better of his rebellious nephew Mr. Ajit Pawar in the crucial Shirur Lok Sabha seat as well, with incumbent MP Dr. Amol Kolhe trouncing his rival, the NCP’s Shivajirao Adhalrao-Patil.

Mr. Ajit Pawar’s faction had to be content with just one seat – the Raigad constituency which was won by NCP State chief (Ajit faction) Sunil Tatkare.

Pawar senior’s magic worked in Madha (in Solapur) as well, with the MVA’s Dhairyasheel Mohite-Patil staging a major upset over the BJP’s sitting MP Ranjitsinh Naik-Nimbalkar.

In Kolhapur, Maratha royal Shahu Maharaj Chhatrapati – a candidate suggested by Mr. Sharad Pawar- triumphed over incumbent MP, the Shinde Sena’s Sanjay Mandlik.

Even the Adivasi belt like Nandurbar in north Maharashtra, where PM Modi had held a major rally, turned towards the Congress with neophyte Gowaal Padavi scoring a victory over incumbent BJP MP Heena Gavit.

Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief Nana Patole said that the people of the country had taught a befitting lesson to the “arrogant, dictatorial government” led by the BJP.

“Rahul Gandhi’s foot march changed the picture in the country and put the BJP in its place. I thank the people for their resolution to make Congress the number one party in Maharashtra,” Mr. Patole said.

Following the MVA’s performance, Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut quipped that “neither Sri Ram nor Bajrang Bali was with the BJP” while urging PM Modi to resign.

“We [MVA] have stopped Mr. Modi in Mumbai. Maharashtra’s public has taken its revenge on the BJP’s politics of splitting parties. Rahul Gandhi has put on a commendable performance, taking the Congress from scratch to 100 seats and leading the INDIA bloc,” Mr. Raut said, adding that Maharashtra had rejected Mr. Modi and Union Minister Amit Shah.

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