MVA checkmates BJP in Maharashtra

Maharashtra's Coalition Casts BJP into Opposition


Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray Source : PTI files

Hassya Pawar

In a dramatic turn of events, the Maha Vikas Aghadi has emerged victorious in Maharashtra in the Lok Sabha elections, a triumph that has surprised many and redefined the political landscape of one of India's most significant electoral states. Despite facing substantial internal and external political crises, party splits, name changes, and raids by the central investigating agencies. The Mahavikas Aghadi, a collective front of the Congress party, Sharad Pawar’s NCP (Nationalist Congress Party), and Uddhav Thackrey’s Shiv Sena (UBT) have successfully resonated with the electorate and brought about a surprising change in voters' sentiments against the ruling NDA.

The trio has bagged 30 out of 48 seats in Maharashtra. The Congress, which had managed to win only one seat in the 2019 election much to everyone’s surprise emerged as the largest party this election with 13 seats. Along with Uddhav Thackrey winning 9 and Sharad Pawar with 8 seats. This election in Maharashtra was amongst the most chaotic ones. It’s fair to say that the people’s issues were the least of concern to either party. The BJP decided to glorify the Prime Minister, highlight his achievements, and increase their numbers. On the other hand Maha Vikas Aghadi had to spend their resources on winning back their party names and symbols along with occasionally putting up a fight about the ‘fathers’.

Uddhav Thackrey's Shiv Sena (UBT) contested on a new symbol, the ‘Mashal’ (burning torch) while Sharad Pawar’s NCP chose the ‘Tutari’ (a traditional Maharashtrian musical instrument). As most candidates argued about insufficient time to make these new symbols reach the voters, the confusion about similar names and old and new party symbols kept creating more chaos. It’s safe to say that the alliance has done exceptionally well.

The INDIA alliance's journey was anything but smooth. Infighting and ideological differences often threatened to fracture the coalition. The leadership had to navigate through these challenges, focusing on a cohesive strategy that emphasized unity and a shared vision for Maharashtra's future. Given the Mahayuti coalition aka the NDA in Maharashtra, Ajit Pawar's NCP and Eknath Shinde-led Sena proved to be a drag on the BJP.

Was it the people's anger with the NDA? The ‘asli’ ‘nakli’ fight? The chaos of candidates fleeing from here to there or the faith in the Maha Vikas Aghadi that fueled this phenomenon? But whatever is said and done the INDIA alliance's triumph in Maharashtra is a landmark moment in Indian politics. It highlights the power of unity and the electorate's ability to drive change. As the alliance steps into parliament, the eyes of the nation will be on Maharashtra, watching closely to see if this victory can indeed usher in a new era of inclusive development and social justice, or will it be yet another coalition tamasha?

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