By-elections 2018: What a BJP win in Maharashtra would mean for the party
In Maharashtra an age old alliance will be put to test. The Palghar constituency would be keenly watched as the Shiv Sena decided to put up a candidate against the BJP.
The BJP-Shiv Sena are in an alliance both at the centre as well as in Maharashtra. The Sena has been critical of the BJP and has spared no opportunity to criticise its ally and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Shiv Sena would hope for a win here as it would increase its bargaining capacity ahead of the 2019 elections. The Sena wants a bigger share of seats which the BJP is not willing to give in so easily. If the BJP wins this seat then it would have the upper hand over the Sena.
The battle at Bhandara-Gondia too would be an interesting one. Here the BJP is up against a joint candidate of the Congress-NCP. The two parties have fought together in local polls, but it is for the first time that they are coming together for a major election.
The Congress and NCP have never fought an assembly or Lok Sabha election together.
A win for the BJP in both these seats would enhance the position of Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis. It would increase the bargaining capacity of the BJP ahead of the 2019 polls. A BJP win would also force a re-think on the Congress-NCP alliance.