Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Elections 2019: Assembly elections in Maharashtra are just around the corner. Politically, Maharashtra is one of the major states in the country. As Election Commission of India announced on September 21, Maharashtra Assembly Elections will be held on October 21. All 288 legislative assembly seats will go to polls in a single phase on October 21. Counting of votes will take place on October 24. The saffron alliance of Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena, led by CM Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will try hard to retain its hold on the power. Meanwhile, Congress and Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) will also be eager to regain power in a state that sends 48 MPs to Lok Sabha. The elections are seeing several firsts. These will be first elections in which a member of the Thackeray clan will contest openly. Aaditya Thackeray, grandson of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray will be entering the electoral fray for the first time. He is contesting from Worli assembly constituency.
BJP and Shiv Sena rule Maharashtra currently with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the helm of Maharashtra government. Under Fadnavis' watch, the BJP has 122 MLAs in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. Shiv Sena has 63 MLAs in Maharashtra Assembly. Congress and the NCP have 42 and 41 MLAs respectively. Remaining 38 seats have been bagged by MLAs belonging to other parties.
Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are eager to come back to power in a state they ruled twice before Devendra Fadnavis's tenure. The alliance has suffered a lot from defections lately. Both, Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party has seen big-ticket defections to their opponent coalition, that is Shiv Sena and BJP.
2019 Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections are a crucial test for both the parties. Congress-NCP alliance has decided to contest on 125 seats each. They have made room of 38 seats for their alliance partners.
BJP and Shiv Sena also, have sealed the seat-sharing deal. BJP will contest on 150 while Shiv Sena will contest on 124 seats. 14 seats have been given to other parties in the alliance.
When Shiv Sena-BJP alliance was forged decades ago. Shiv Sena used to be the dominant partner in the alliance. However, BJP has gained ground since and taken a dominant position within the alliance.
Star candidate from the Shiv Sena is certainly Aaditya Thackeray this time. The Thackeray scion is already hitting the streets in Mumbai and meeting voters. He is expected to comfortably win from Worli, a seat considered secure for Shiv Sena. The Shiv Sena is likely to project him as a chief ministerial candidate.
Maharashtra elections are a huge test for Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). The party has recently released a list of 27 candidates. Raj Thackeray's MNS is clearly on backfoot after recent poll debacles and upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections can prove to be a battle for political relevance for Raj Thackeray.