With the results for the 2019 Lok Sabha election scheduled today, the BJP-Shiv Sena is set to dish out an encore of their overwhelming victory from the previous General Elections in Maharashtra. The India Today Axis My India predicts the alliance winning 38-42 Lok Sabha seats in the state. On the other hand, Congress and allies are expected to barely make a dent with 6-10 seats going to them.
Maharashtra sends 48 MPs, the second-highest after Uttar Pradesh, to Lok Sabha. The electorate across the state exercised their right to vote over four phases during the recently concluded 2019 Lok Sabha elections between April 11 and April 29.
BJP contested on 25 seats, whereas Shiv Sena fielded its candidates on 23 seats. Congress nominated its contestants on 25 seats, whereas Sharad Pawar-led NCP fought on 19 seats. Three seats were left for other UPA allies - YSP, BVA and Swabhimani Paksha.
Several notable names from the politically crucial state of Maharashtra contested in the recently concluded General Elections. One of the most significant seats in the state is Nagpur, which holds a special place in BJP's heart for being the home of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The saffron party has fielded Union Minister Nitin Gadkari from the Nagpur seat who is facing Nana Patole from the seat.
Another contest of importance is Mumbai South Lok Sabha seat, which saw Congress' longstanding parliamentarian Milind Deora duke it out against Shiv Sena's Arvind Sawant. The 2019 Lok Sabha election also saw actress Urmila Matondar begin her political innings. Congress has nominated her from Mumbai North seat against BJP's Gopal Shetty.
The Mumbai North Central Lok Sabha seat also witnessed an interesting battle between BJP's Poonam Mahajan and Congress' Priya Dutt. While the former is the daughter of party's deceased veteran leader Pramod Mahajan, the latter is the daughter of veteran actor Sunil Dutt. Both have been active in Maharashtra politics for some time now.
Sharad Pawar, a pivotal figure in Maharashtra politics, did not contest in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, but his daughter, Supriya Sule is contending from the Baramati Lok Sabha seat. Baramati is known as a Pawar family bastion.
The winning parties in the Maharashtra will have to focus on perennial problems of farmer distress, drought and joblessness in the state. Scarcity of water forces people from the Marathwada region to migrate every year. Number of farmer suicides has risen to alarming levels in this region which has been facing deficient rainfall for past many monsoons.