As per trends available after two hours of counting, BJP was leading in 120 constituencies, with former -- and according to some, would-be -- ally Shiv Sena a distant second in 59 seats, Congress in 44 and NCP in 45.
The Raj Thackeray-led MNS had a dismal outing, leading in just two seats, a far cry from the 13 seats it won in the 2009 polls.
With no party appearing to be in a position to reach the magic figure of 145 seats needed to form government, the state looks set to witness a plethora of permutations and combinations in the next few days.
While there is already speculation of former allies BJP and Sena coming together and forming the next government, there are also those who feel that the Sena's and Congress and NCP's need to remain in power, may throw up combinations which may not seem plausible now.
The first result declared so far has gone in favour of Madhuri Misal of BJP, who retained her Assembly seat in Pune. Former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is trailing behind former minister Vilaskaka Undalkar in south Karad, while former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar is leading in Baramati in western Maharashtra.