General Elections 2019: Kaun banega winner?

Updated: Jan 01, 2019, 08:57 IST | Dharmendra Jore

The upcoming Lok Sabha elections may throw up some interesting equations; Maharashtra will be the focus for the BJP and Shiv Sena

General Elections 2019: Kaun banega winner?
Raj Thackeray. Illustration/Uday Mohite

Five years since the Modi wave swept away the opposition, things have changed for the country's politicians. In the coming summer, the people's court will again give its verdict. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in Maharashtra will complete its term and face elections. A fractured mandate has been predicted even as the BJP claims to be in a position to reclaim the previous numbers. But a buoyed opposition is all set to queer the BJP's pitch, getting like-minded parties together. And yet, some aren't willing to join the Congress because they see regional parties getting a preference over national parties, like in the recent Assembly elections.

#Chal akela, chal akela
If the Sena marches on, can Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray be far behind? Uddhav Thackeray's estranged cousin has stopped lying low. He is playing his game alone in a tacit understanding with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) which wants Raj in the united fold. The Congress may not concede as yet. But Raj, alone or together with the united front, should be seen doing some damage to the Sena and BJP, and will win some seats in the Assembly.

Rahul Gandhi and Sharad Pawar

#Hum mile tum mile
Rahul Gandhi has emerged an effective concoction of aggression and enthusiasm against the BJP that seems drunk high on power. He, along with the young and veterans in the party, is trying to weave a web to trap the BJP. The weaving is being shared by seasoned players in like-minded non-BJP parties. Unlike 2014, the voters in Maharashtra are expected to be offered the Congress-NCP alliance as the only alternative to the BJP or Sena, who may or may not join hands.

Uddhav Thackeray

#Lag ja gale
Hit by allegations, scams and bad governance, the BJP swore by brotherhood and opened its arms to the allies that were kept at bay over the past four years. The Shiv Sena has kept up the pressure asking the BJP to first decide firmly on building the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Maharashtra is crucial for the Sena and BJP, because the former wants to have its chief minister in the state, while the latter wishes to win many MPs together with the ally to have its prime minister. Maharashtra is where the BJP is looking forward to compensate for the losses it is expected to suffer in other states. Since the Lok Sabha results will have a definite bearing on the Assembly poll results, CM Devendra Fadnavis will be under tremendous pressure to deliver on the policy and political front. If things fall in place at the right time, the BJP may even go for the Lok Sabha and state Assembly polls together.

CM Devendra Fadnavis

#Kaise chali hai abke hawa
And then there are parties holding sway in certain regional pockets and major states that perform a perfect weathercock. BJP ally Ramdas Athawale seems undecided. Certain leaders from Bihar quit the NDA to join the UPA. Some severed ties with the BJP early on. Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav are in a pact to demolish the BJP and the Congress in UP. Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal and Chandrasekhar Rao in Telangana are out to free the country from the BJP and Congress. But in Maharashtra at least, the field should be quite open and clear for the voters to choose from.

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