Battleground Maharashtra: Lost case for Congress

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Prithviraj Chavan lacks public faith as state's Chief Minister.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his first interaction with BJP workers in Mumbai after coming to office, has interacted with the Maharashtra BJP workers and asked the state cadres to reach out to the voters with confidence and now work unitedly for Congress-free state.

After decimating the Congress in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, addressing a gathering of party workers in the city ahead of state assembly polls, Modi referred to the recent Lok Sabha elections and said that for the first time a non-Congress government had got the mandate which has raised the hopes of people. Assembly elections in Maharashtra are due in October.

"For the first time, non-Congress government got a majority. After the BJP-led government took over, people have a feeling that the country is going forward," he said.

"In Maharashtra vidhan sabha elections, the party should go ahead with confidence of victory. The confidence of the BJP cadres in BJP is intact. All workers should be united for Congress-mukt (Congress-free) Maharashtra," the Prime Minister said.

BJP has an upper hand in Maha polls:

Basking over its success of Lok Sabha polls, in which the NDA - Bhartiya Janata Party, Shiv Sena and Swabhimani Paksha - bagged 42 of 48 Parliamentary seats and over 53 per cent of the vote share, the NDA chairperson wants to repeat the success in the state polls. Modi has asked for uprooting the Congress which is facing a major credibility crisis and internal rift.

NDA bagged 42 of 48 seats in Maharashtra during LS polls

People of Maharashtra voted for the NDA for two big reasons in the Lok Sabha polls as follows :

1) Modi wave.

2) Anti-Congress sentiment.

Though Modi wave might not be a major factor in the forthcoming Assembly polls but prevailing anti-incumbency in the state might work for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance which is hoping to come to power in the state after a gap of 15 long years.

Demise of senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde, who succumbed to death in a fatal road accident, will also help the party gain sympathy vote in Beed area. This will also help the BJP to garner votes.

Congress's internal woes:

The Congress-NCP combine government in the state has suffered a jolt in the LS polls as it received just 6 seats at a dismal vote share of 35 per cent. These figures reflect that the public mood isn't in the favour of the present dispensation in the state. Increasing anti-government sentiment for a period of 15 years, rampant corruption and failure to curb consistent farmers' suicide has resulted in the deterioration of people's faith in the party and government.

Another hurdle for the Prithviraj Chavan government is the lack of public faith in him as the Chief Minister and absence of effective leaders in the part at local levels. There are no bankable names in the party who can steer the party from troubled waters. To make matters worse big names like Maharashtra Industry Minister Narayan Rane are resigning from the Government and accused CM Chavan of slow decision-making and lack of control over administration.

In a way one can say that connect between the Congress Government in Maharashtra and public seems to be eroding as it is in power for the past 15 years.

These factors will also help the NDA to emerge as a better option for the people of Maharashtra. Increase in the number of young voters, among whom PM Modi enjoys a significant popularity, will also help BJP-Shiv Sena combine to secure more votes. Thus, one sees depth in Narendra Modi's message when he asks the state unit to buckle up since the Congress has already dug its own grave.

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