Maharashtra, a Western state, sends 48 MPs to Lok Sabha (9% of total strength) and will play a key role in next govt. formation. UPA and NDA are the two major forces here. Congress along with Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has been in power in the state for the past 14 years. BJP allies with Shiv Sena which is a major regional party carrying Balasaheb Thackeray’s legacy. Raj Thackeray estranged cousin of Uddhav has floated his own party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) which also has decent presence.
There were rumours that Pawar wanted to desert the sinking ship of UPA and join NDA, but Shiv Sena resisted. NCP has denied this vehemently. BJP leader Nitin Gadkari made efforts to bring in MNS into NDA. Again Shiv Sena resisted. However, Gadkari managed to convince Raj of not putting candidates against BJP. Shiv Sena wasn’t happy but everything is now ok. MNS cut into a lot of traditional Shiv Sena votes and led to defeat of NDA in many seats in 2009. That’s why BJP wanted a patch up, but egoistic brothers refused. BJP has decided to go ahead with Shiv Sena, their long time ally and stronger party among the two. BJP has tied up with three other smaller parties RPI (Athavale), Swabhimani Paksha and Rashtriya Samaj Paksha which have pockets of influence in rural Maharashtra.
2. Historical Results