Maharashtra Assembly Elections – October 2019

Maharashtra Assembly Elections 2019
Daily updates on Maharashtra Assembly Elections 2019
Maharashtra Assembly Elections 2019
Daily updates on Maharashtra Assembly Elections 2019

The moment The Election Commission sounded the bugle of Maharashtra assembly elections, the seat-sharing formula has started soaring. Although Congress and NCP have already sorted out this issue earlier and peacefully settled with 125 seats each, while giving 38 seats to smaller parties, possibility of a twist can’t be ruled out like the complexion of a T20 cricket match, which changes within a few balls.

Day 01

BJP-Shiv Sena Alliance on its way to Win 155+ Seats, Devendra Fadnavis to Form Government Again

Counting of polling for Maharashtra Assembly election is nearing completion, providing a clear trend of the winners and the losers. Proving the exit polls right, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is cruising ahead to win more than 155 seats. BJP and Shiv Sena are individually ahead in 98 seats and 58 seats respectively. NCP has surprised everyone by winning/leading in 56 seats with its ally Congress winning/leading in 46 seats. Other parties are winning/leading in 30 seats. BJP-Shiv Sena is way ahead of the majority mark of 145 seats. The incumbent Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said that they may have won fewer seats this assembly election but the strike rate has improved. He went on to thank the people of Maharashtra for giving a clear mandate to the grand alliance of BJP and Shiv Sena. Fadnavis said that 15 independent MLAs have contacted him and are ready to join the BJP-SS government. When inquired, the Maharashtra CM said that they “are going to go ahead according to what has been decided” between the BJP and the Shiv Sena leaders.

SS Chief Uddhav Thackeray asks BJP to Honor the 50:50 Agreement decided between Him and Amit Shah

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has demanded that the 50:50 agreement should be honored by the BJP as decided during his meeting with BJP Chief Amit Shah at the beginning of the year. Uddhav Thackeray said that the agreement was made when BJP chief Amit Shah visited his residence Matoshree just before the Lok Sabha elections. Thackeray added that “Sena contested fewer seats on BJP’s request; we can’t be so accommodating always”.

Outgoing Maharashtra Minister from BJP Pankaja Munde Loses from Parli Assembly Constituency

The outgoing minister in Maharashtra, Pankaja Munde of BJP, lost from Parli assembly constituency to her estranged cousin Dhananjay Munde of NCP. When asked by the media, Pankaja Munde said that she respects the verdict of people and would continue working for them.

Day 02

Counting of Votes in Maharashtra to Start at 8 am Tomorrow

The counting of votes for the Maharashtra assembly election will start tomorrow (October 24, 2019 – Thursday) at 8 am and the result is expected to be announced by the Election Commission by 5 pm. The provisional voter turnout in Maharashtra on October 21 assembly election till 6 pm was 60.05%, which was 63.08% in 2014. Though most of the exit polls are predicting a clean sweep for the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance, Congress-NCP alliance is looking forward to the final count.

Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut says Lack of Regional Issues Main Reason of Low Voter Turnout

Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP, Sanjay Raut, has said in an interview that the low voter turnout in Maharashtra assembly election is a worrying trend for democracy. He went on to say that the low turnout in Maharashtra was mainly because of the lack of focus on regional issues. The Shiv Sena MP believes that 50% of the people don’t trust the issues that were picked up by them because they don’t deal with the real issues. Sanjay Raut made it clear that issues such as “poverty, hunger, Article 370, Pakistan, Triple Talaq, law and order situation, national security, corruption, etc.” are national issues and therefore should be raised during Lok Sabha elections. The SS veteran said that during the regional elections the focus should be “on the increasing prices, unemployment.” He also predicted that Shiv Sena will win 100 seats and the BJP-SS alliance will win 200+ seats. Raut stressed on the fact that the BJP will not be able to form the state government without Shiv Sena. Sanjay Raut also called the arrest of former SS supremo Bal Thackeray in 2000 a mistake and went on to seek an apology from NCP leader Ajit Pawar.

Day 03

Exit Polls Predict a Clean Sweep for BJP-Shiv Sena Alliance in Maharashtra

All the exit polls have predicted an overwhelming victory for the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in Maharashtra in the 2019 Assembly election. Times Now exit poll predicted the BJP-SS to win 230 seats, much more than the 145 seats required for achieving a majority. It predicted the Congress-NCP alliance to win just 48 seats and 10 seats by Others. NDTV’s Poll of Polls has predicted the BJP-SS to win 213 seats, followed by 61 seats by INC-NCP and 14 by Others. While CNN News 18-IPSOS expected the BJP-SS to win 243 seats, Republic TV’s Jan Ki Baat predicted the BJP-Shiv Sena to win 243 seats. ABP-C Voter, India Today-My Axis, and TV9-Marathi predict BJP-Shiv Sena alliance to receive 204 seats, 181 seats, and 197 seats respectively.

Election Commission’s Innovative Ideas draw Women Voters and Make Voting Hassle-Free

The Election Commission has conceptualized special booths called “Sakhi Matdaan Kendras” to woo women voters. These special polling booths offered women a bottle of kokum sharbat along with a cloth bag. The men are given the beverage only. The zonal officer in Ghatkopar (West) Sandhya Nalawade organized a block printing workshop for women voters at the Sakhi booth. Reports say the word-of-mouth campaign drew more than one thousand women. Farogh Mukadam, deputy district election officer for Mumbai city, said that the number of female voters for every 1,000 male voters increased from 816 female voters in 2014 to 835 female voters in 2019. Farogh also said that the number also increased in the suburbs from 820 female voters in 2014 to 846 female voters in 2019 per 1,000 male voters. Crèches at many polling centers became a huge success. Such centers were provided with two Anganwadi staff, who kept the children occupied by offering books and toys and also offering swing beds for infants.

Day 04

43.70% Voter Turn in Maharashtra till 4 pm after Dull Start due to Rain, Politicians & Celebrities Flaunt Inked Fingers

The first four hours of polling in Maharashtra was dull because of rains. It picked up at noon and the voter turnout was 43.70% till 4 pm today. Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Aditya Thackeray (Worli candidate and son of Uddhav), former Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, and many prominent politicians of the state cast their votes along with their families. MNS chief Raj Thackeray visited Mumbai’s Siddhivinayaka Temple before casting his vote. Bollywood superstar Salman Khan not only cast his vote while giving off major ‘Dabangg’ vibes but also encouraged his fans to cast their votes. Actor-politician Govinda, after casting his vote along with his wife, said: “Please exercise your right to vote. Be a responsible citizen.” Other celebrities spotted performing their civic responsibilities include Shah Rukh Khan with wife Gauri Khan, Aamir Khan with wife Kiran Rao, Hrithik Roshan, Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Madhuri Dixit, Lara Dutta with husband Mahesh Bhupati, Riteish Deshmukh with wife Genelia Deshmukh, Priety Zinta, Anil Kapoor, and many more.

BJP Hopeful of Winning Maharashtra Assembly Election with Record-Breaking Seats

BJP leaders are hopeful of winning the Maharashtra assembly election by winning record-breaking seats. Union minister Nitin Gadkari has said that the Devendra Fadnavis led government in Maharashtra has done lots of works across the state in the last 5-years, especially developmental works in irrigation, agriculture, and many more areas. He went on to say in an interview that what Congress failed to deliver in 62 years, BJP has done that in just 5 years. Another union minister Prakash Javedekar said that BJP-Shiv Sena will win more than 222 seats and will “form an even stronger government this time.”

Day 05

Polling in 96,661 Polling Stations in Maharashtra to Start at 7 am on Monday

Polling in 288 constituencies in the Maharashtra Assembly election will be held on Monday from 7 am to 6 pm. Report of Election Commission shows that 3,237 candidates (out of which 235 are women) will fight it out tomorrow. Around 1,35,021 VVPAT machines have been arranged at 96,661 polling stations across Maharashtra. Out of the total 8,98,39,600 eligible voters in Maharashtra, 1,06,76,013 voters belong to the 18-25 age group. Reports say that around 6.5 lakh polling personnel have been deployed to conduct the Maharashtra assembly election smoothly.

SS questions why so Many BJP heavyweights have to Rally in Maharashtra if there is No Opposition Challenge

Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut has questioned why so many prominent BJP leaders have to address so many rallies in Maharashtra if there is no opposition left in Maharashtra, referring to a statement made by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. In a column in the party’s mouthpiece “Saamana”, Raut has also claimed that entry of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s son Aaditya Thackeray in the assembly election will change the political dynamics of Maharashtra in the coming years.

Rain and Thunderstorm May Play Spoilsport as Maharashtra gears up for Election on Monday

Rain and overcast conditions may play spoilsport on Monday as IMD predicted “thunderstorm with lightning and gusty winds” on Monday in isolated places such as Osmanabad, Beed, Solapur, Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur, Pune, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, and Raigad.

Day 06

Amit Shah Challenges Rahul Gandhi to Declare Congress will Restore Article 370 if Voted to Power

Union home minister and BJP President Amit Shah today dared Congress leader Rahul Gandhi while addressing a rally in Maharashtra’s Nandurbar district, to declare that his party will restore the Article 370 if it comes to power. Shah also pointed out that more than 40,000 people died because the special provision of J&K helped Pakistan foment terror in the state. He also accused Congress of doing only vote bank politics without keeping the national interest in mind. While going on his way to Ahmednagar’s Akole, Amit Shah’s helicopter had to make an emergency landing in Nashik’s Ozar airport due to heavy rain today.

Jyotiraditya Scindia Blames BJP-led Maharashtra Government for Shutdowns and Job Loss

All India Congress Committee Secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia said today while campaigning in Kolhapur, that the BJP-led Maharashtra government failed to create new jobs and the number of jobless youth is increasing every year. He went on to say that the Maharashtra government’s wrong policies led to shutdowns and job loss, especially in job-creating sectors such as the textile sector.

Sharad Pawar steps up Momentum during Last Phase of Campaign in Maharashtra

NCP Chief Sharad Pawar addressed a rally in Satara on Friday evening amid heavy downpour and said: “Rain God has blessed us”. The 79-year old veteran politician is scheduled to address 4 rallies: one in Ahmednagar’s Jamkhed and three in Pune district.

Shiv Sena Leader Priyanka Chaturvedi said they also Aspire for their Own Chief Ministerial Candidate

Shiv Sena’s deputy leader Priyanka Chaturvedi said during an interview that her party is going to win over 100 seats out of the 124 seats they are contesting because of their outreach to the people around the year. When asked about the chief ministerial candidate of the BJP-Shiv Sena coalition, Chaturvedi said that Shiv Sena too aspires to have a chief minister but that “doesn’t come with a timeline”. When asked about BJP and SS’s separate manifesto, she said that “Agar hamara sona manifesto hai to unka soney pe suhaga hai” (if we have a gold manifesto, they also have a similarly shinier manifesto).

Day 07

Kanhaiya Kumar says BJP-SS Coalition in Maharashtra Ignoring Real Issues

Former JNU student leader and CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar, during a rally in favor of CPI candidate from Aurangabad Central Abhay Taksal, accused the BJP government of sidelining the real issues such as employment, health, education, and provision of basic amenities to people. He pointed out the inability of the Aurangabad civic body in fixing roads, controlling the dog menace, and completing the water pipeline project. Kanhaiya accused BJP of raising issues such as the abrogation of Article 370, Ram Mandir, Pakistan, and others instead of the real people-centric issues.

75 Polling Stations in Kolhapur District have been earmarked as Sensitive

The Kolhapur district election office has earmarked 75 polling stations as “sensitive” and alerted police to keep an eye on them. Reports say the police will also monitor around 185 villages in the Kolhapur district where the election office believes law and order can deteriorate during the October 21 election.

PM Modi invokes Developmental Politics, Abrogation of Article 370, and Chattrapati Shivaji during Maharashtra Rallies

Addressing a rally in Maharashtra’s Beed, PM Narendra Modi said that the ongoing assembly election is a fight between the developmental politics of BJP with the selfishness of the opposition parties. While saying that “history will take note of every person who ridiculed the abrogation of Article 370”, he went on to say that he believes the people of Maharashtra will teach a resounding lesson to people who talk against India’s interest. PM Modi said that his government is following the footsteps of the great warrior king Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj in terms of national security as well as of nationalism. During his rally in Satara district, Modi said that those political entities “having evil designs against the country will be given a befitting reply.” PM Modi said that BJP will get a record number of seats in the October 21 assembly election in Maharashtra.

NCP Chief asks BJP’s Shrigonda Candidate to Wear Bangles

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, during a rally in Ahmednagar district’s Shrigonda in support of NCP candidate Ghanshyam Shelar, made a scathing attack against the BJP candidate Babanrao Pachpute (a former NCP leader who defected to BJP in 2014). Pawar asked him to wear bangles if he can’t work for the people despite being a minister.

Day 08

Uddhav Thackeray hits out at BJP for Fielding Narayan Rane’s Son

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray questioned BJP’s decision of fielding Nitesh Rane (son of his rival Narayan Rane) in the constituency as they allegedly betrayed people. Narayan Rane’s party Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha (MSP) has merged with BJP just before the assembly election in Maharashtra. Uddhav Thackeray reasoned this betrayal for fielding their candidate Satish Sawant against Narayan Rane.

PM Modi hits out at Congress’s Dynasty Politics and their Lack of Nationalism

PM Narendra Modi, while addressing a rally in Maharashtra’s Partur in Jalna district, took a dig at Congress by saying that the latter’s nationalism revolves around devotion to a family. He said that the Congress party that fought for the independence of the country, is not the same party anymore. Modi said that the grand old party of India is taking its last breath. By raising the issue of Article 370’s abrogation, PM Modi asked Congress to place a sheet of cloth “where Article 370 has been buried.” He also predicted that the Sharad Pawar-led NCP party will win just 10 seats in the upcoming Maharashtra assembly election. He also questioned Congress’s performance in the Marathwada region as it remains one of the most backward regions despite giving 3 chief ministers to the state.

PM Modi targets NCP on their Alleged Connection with the Underworld Don Dawood Ibrahim

PM Narendra Modi took a dig at NCP by referring to the alleged links of its leaders with the underworld. Without naming anyone, Modi said at a rally in Maharashtra’s Akola district that “the new revelations indicate why offenders of bomb blast cases escaped from the country”. The Prime Minister was referring to the news reports on ED’s summoning senior NCP leader Praful Patel, regarding a money laundering probe related to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s close aide Iqbal Mirchi.

Rahul Gandhi accuses BJP for India’s Economic Suffering

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused BJP of pursuing wrong economic policies during a rally in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district. He blamed GST and demonetization for joblessness in India. He went on to say that the problem of joblessness will not get resolved until BJP is in power. Rahul also said that the economy is run by the poor and not by the ultra-rich businessmen like Ambani and Adani. He also said that Congress’s NYAY scheme is meant for jump-starting the Indian economy.

Day 09

BJP Releases “Sankalp Patra” for October 21 Maharashtra Assembly Election

BJP has released its manifesto for the October 21 Maharashtra assembly elections today. The manifesto titled “Sankalp Patra” was released by BJP Working President JP Nadda in Mumbai. During the release, JP Nadda praised Devendra Fadnavis for changing the political culture of the state from “full of corruption” to “free of corruption”. Main promises made in the manifesto include an increase of Maharashtra state GSP to US$ 1 trillion, creation of 1 crore jobs in the coming 5 years, assured houses for everyone by 2022, setting up of Rs. 16,000 crore drinking water grid project in the drought prone area of Marathwada, investment of Rs. 5 lakh crores in several infrastructure projects, setting up of maintenance department for national highways as well as state highways and many more.

Election Commission Bans Exit Polls during the Upcoming Assembly and Bypoll Elections

On Tuesday, the Election Commission (EC) has reiterated its decision of completely banning exit polls on October 21, especially during the election time (from 7 am to 6.30 pm). On October 21, assembly elections will be held in Maharashtra and Haryana. Bypolls will also be held in 51 assembly constituencies across 17 states on the same day. The same rule of exit poll ban will be effective on the bypolls in two parliamentary seats: Samastipur in Bihar and Satara in Maharashtra.

Day 10

Congress and SP Announce Candidates against each other in Bhiwandi East despite being Allies

Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) are contesting the upcoming Maharashtra election as allies. However, they have announced the names of candidates against each other in the Bhiwandi East constituency. While Santosh Shetty is the Congress candidate, Rais Shaikh is the SP candidate in the Bhiwandi East seat. Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi alleged that some Congress leaders in Delhi conspired and gave the ticket to their candidate in this assembly constituency.

PM Modi accuses Opposition Congress and NCP of Politicizing Article 370 during his Maha Rally

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today addressed two rallies in Jalgaon and Beed ahead of October 21 Maharashtra Assembly Election. He praised Devendra Fadnavis’s corruption-free 5-year stint as the chief minister of Maharashtra and lauded his efforts in instilling confidence among both farmers and industrialists. PM Modi made a scathing attack on both Congress and NCP for “politicizing” the “unprecedented” decision of abrogating Article 370. He accused the opposition leaders of shedding crocodile tears on the issue of Article 370. Modi went on to challenge them “declare in their manifesto for state election and future polls too, that they will bring back Article 370 and 35A”. While calling Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh as the crown of India, PM Modi accused opposition leaders of speaking in the same tune as the neighboring country.

Rahul Gandhi accuses Modi Government of Diverting People’s Attention from Core Issues of Job Loss and Farmers’ Distress

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, in an election rally at Ausa in Latur district of Maharashtra, accused both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah of distracting the attention of people from the core issues (such as lack of jobs and distress of farmers). He accused the BJP government of diverting the attention of the nation from the real problems plaguing the country to either abrogation of Article 370 or watching the moon (indicating at the recent Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission). Rahul Gandhi also took a dig at the Modi government for waiving off Rs 5.5 lakh crore debts of “15 rich people”. The Gandhi scion also took a dig at the Modi government by questioning the objective of demonetization and GST. He called both of these as instruments of taking money from the pockets of the poor and filling that of the rich.

Congress-NCP Extends Support for MNS Candidate at Kalyan (Rural) Constituency

Congress and NCP have extended their support to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) candidate Raju Patil against Shiv Sena candidate Ramesh Mahatre from Kalyan (Rural) assembly constituency. The support for the concerned MNS candidate was declared in the presence of NCP’s senior leader Vandar Patil, Congress leader Santosh Kene, and NCP’s Kalyan district President Ramesh Hanumante.

Day 11

Muslim Groups who Supported BJP in 2014 Fume as No Muslim is Given Ticket by BJP in Maharashtra Assembly Election

Maharashtra Muslim Sangh, an umbrella organization of many Muslim NGOs, has pointed out the hollowness of PM Narendra Modi’s “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas” campaign as no Muslim candidate has been given ticket in this assembly election. Haider Azam, the only Muslim candidate of BJP in Maharashtra assembly election in 2014, has not been given a ticket from Malad West in the 2019 election. Maharashtra Muslim Sangh’s head F M Thakur said that BJP doesn’t want political empowerment of the Muslim community. The organization has withdrawn support to BJP this assembly election.

Congress Extends Support to Independent Candidates in Aurangabad East and Aurangabad West

Congress’s working President of Aurangabad Mohsin Ahmed and Congress Spokesperson Pawan Dongre said that as per the directions of Maharashtra Congress Chief Balasaheb Thorat they have decided to support independent candidates in both Aurangabad East and Aurangabad West assembly seats. While Congress has thrown their weight behind Roti Bank’s Yousuf Mukati in Aurangabad East, they have extended their support to a lawyer Vinod Mali in Aurangabad West constituency.

Raj Thackeray accuses BJP of Diverting Attention of People from Farmers’ Suicide to Non-Issues

MNS Chief Raj Thackeray has criticized the BJP leadership for raising issues (such as abrogation of Article 370) during campaigns that are not relevant to the Maharashtra Assembly election. While addressing election rallies in Kalyan and Bhiwandi towns of Thane district, Raj Thackeray said that the BJP is silent on major issues such as farmers’ suicides and road conditions. He said BJP is “highlighting issues that have no relevance to the state polls…they conveniently divert the attention of people.”

Devendra Fadnavis kick starts “Mumbai walks with BJP” Campaign to Garner Support for BJP

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has kick-started the “Mumbai walks with BJP” campaign on Sunday at the Marine Drive for garnering votes in support of BJP. During the campaign march, CM Devendra Fadnavis talked to the morning walkers as well as locals. Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant also accompanied Fadnavis in the “Mumbai walks with BJP” march.

Day 12

Shiv Sena releases manifesto for Maharashtra Assembly Election 2019

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray (with his son and Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray by his side) released the party’s manifesto for the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly election at Matoshree on Saturday. In the manifesto named “Vachannama 2019”, Shiv Sena promised to declare Aarey as forest, provide basic health tests at Rs 1, full meal at just Rs 10, reduction in electricity bill by 30% for consumers using 300 units per month, bus facility for girl students in rural areas, and many more. Uddhav said that “There are no differences within the alliance over the manifesto.”

AAP Releases Manifesto for Maharashtra Assembly ELection

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has released its election manifesto for the upcoming Maharashtra assembly election on October 21, 2019. The 32-page manifesto is titled “Aapla Maharashtra, Ananda Maharashtra” and it promises to “re-engineer Maharashtra, which has been reduced to a failed state”. While stressing on bringing a political culture without muscle power and money, the AAP manifesto plans to “rejuvenate infrastructure at four levels – environmental, social, socio-economic and physical infrastructure.” AAP secretary Ruben Mascarenhas promised to bring down water and electricity tariffs, just like they did in Delhi.

Maha CM Devendra Fadnavis Meets aggrieved depositors of Scam-Hit PMC Bank after Election Rally

A group of customers of the Rs. 4,500 crore scam-hit PMC (Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative) Bank met the incumbent Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis after his election rally in support of sitting MLA and current BJP candidate from Thane City constituency. Though Fadnavis couldn’t assure anything because of the model code of conduct, he gave the aggrieved depositors a patient hearing and said that he’ll take up this issue with PM Narendra Modi when he meets him on October 13. Devendra Fadnavis also said that “after the elections on October 21, we will follow up on this issue and ensure that the bank is bailed out at any cost.”

Day 13

Actor Riteish Deshmukh Campaigning for his Brothers in Latur District

Actor-producer Riteish Deshmukh, the son of ex-chief minister late Vilasrao Deshmukh, has started campaigning for his two brothers, both Congress Party candidates contesting from adjoining Latur district constituencies. While Riteish’s elder brother Amit Deshmukh is contesting from Latur City constituency, Dhiraj Deshmukh is contesting from Latur rural constituency. Riteish’s wife and actress Genelia and his mother Vaishali have also joined the campaign. Riteish’s campaign for his brothers is drawing huge crowds.

Amit Shah Slams Congress for letting its UK Unit Discuss Kashmir with Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn

Union home minister Amit Shah, while addressing an election rally in Maharashtra, slammed Rahul Gandhi for letting the UK-unit of Congress discuss the Kashmir issue with the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. While stressing that there will be no 3rd party role in the matter of Kashmir, Shah demanded Rahul Gandhi’s stand on the same. He said that BJP-Shiv Sena works by keeping the country’s interest in mind but accused Congress-NCP combine of keeping “the welfare of their respective families” above everything else.

Day 14

Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray Expressed Confidence of a BJP-SS Win

While campaigning in Amravati and Pune districts, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said that the opposition parties are tired and almost wiped out of the political fray. He expressed confidence that the BJP-Shiv Sena combine will regain power in the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly election. Uddhav Thackeray said that they want to make farmers debt-free instead of waiver loans. While praising Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana and crop insurance scheme of the Modi government, he promised to provide primary health check-up at Rs. 1 and full meal to the poor at Rs. 10 in rural areas.

Eknath Khadse and Vinod Thawde Feature as Star Campaigners of BJP in Maharashtra

Though BJP dropped both its leaders Eknath Khadse and Vinod Thawde from the candidates’ list for the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly election, they have been featured among the list of star campaigners. While Vinod Tawde confirmed that he’s not leaving the party, Eknath Khadse appealed to his supporters “to ensure a thumping victory for his daughter Rohini Khadse” from the Muktainagar constituency in North Maharashtra.

Day 15

Maharashtra CM Promises 24×7 Water Supply

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, while speaking at a public rally in Rahatni, acknowledged the increasing need for water in the city. He went on to promise a 24×7 water supply at Pimpri Chinchwad for the coming half a century through Smart City Plan. Fadnavis also acknowledged that untreated sewage enters multiple rivers such as Mutha, Mula, Indrani, and other rivers. He stressed that all the efforts will be made in the next 4 years so that untreated sewage doesn’t enter Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad rivers.

NCP MP Supriya Sule Makes it Clear about NCP-INC Alliance and Salman Khurshid’s Comments

NCP leader Supriya Sule has ruled out any possibility of Congress-NCP merger for the upcoming assembly election in Maharashtra. She reiterated her father Sharad Pawar’s statement that the NCP-Congress alliance is not on their cards. The comment 2-days after Congress leader Sushilkumar Shinde said during a campaign rally that both the parties belong to the same ideological tree and hoped that they come together in the future. When asked about senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid’s comments about Congress’s inability to win the upcoming election due to Rahul Gandhi’s departure, Sule said that INC is the grand old party of India and a handful of dissent is not of much relevance. The senior NCP leader called the Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis a mere translator who has no other work but to translate PM Modi’s work at the center from Marathi to Hindi.

Citizens-Candidates Discuss about Pan-City Problems in Citizen Manifesto Meet

Winds of change seem to be blowing in the mindset of the political landscape in Maharashtra as citizens and candidates of the Shivajinagar and Parvati constituencies discuss various pan-city problems in the Citizen Manifesto meet. Some of the issues that were discussed during the meet are round-the-clock water supply scheme, increase per capita tree ration from 1 to 7, the requirement of an underpass near University Chowk, need of moving environmentally hazardous sewage treatment plants away from water bodies, problems of depleting water table, and many more.

Pankaja Munde Makes it Clear that She’s Not in the CM’s Race

Pankaja Munde, Minister of rural development and Beed guardian minister and daughter of former Deputy CM Late Gopinath Munde, made it clear that she is not in the race to become the next CM of Maharashtra. When inquired about people sloganeering in the Savargaon Ghat Dasara meeting asking the home minister to project Pankaja as the next CM, she said that “The slogans were not raised by BJP workers, they were known faces.” She highlighted the BJP-led state government’s initiatives such as the water grid and Krishna valley project for addressing Marathwada’s drought-related issues. She exhumed confidence in retaining the Parli constituency seat.

Congress-NCP Leaders Join Sambhaji Bhide’s Durgamata Daud Rally

Congress and NCP leaders have made a U-turn from their earlier demand of arresting Sambhaji Bhide (named in the Koregaon Bhima violence case) and joined the Durgamata Daud (organized by Shivpratishthan Hindustan of Bhide) on Dasara occasion. Some of the prominent leaders who welcomed the participants of this mega non-political rally are Congress’s Prithviraj Chavan (former Maha CM and candidate from Karad South constituency), independent candidate Udaysinh Undalkar-Patil, and BJP nominee Atul Bhosale.

CPIM candidate D L Karad Vouch for Development and Growth

Nashik West constituency’s CPIM candidate D L Karad said that his party is contesting the Maharashtra Assembly election on the twin issue of development and employment generation. Two other political parties such as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) have extended their support to the CPM candidate. Karad made it clear that both his party and VBA are fighting for many social/economic issues including privatization policy of the BJP government and that’s why VBA has extended their support to him. He highlighted the need of large industries in the Ambad and Satpur industrial estates so that the micro and small scale industries get the impetus to grow.

Bombay HC grants EC to Requisition Staffs of Unaided Colleges for Maharashtra Assembly Election

In a recent Bombay High Court judgment, it is made clear that the staffs of unaided engineering and polytechnic colleges in Maharashtra can be requisitioned by the Election Commission of India. Both the High Court judges, Gautam Patel and SC Dharmadhikari, disregarded two separate petitions challenging such requisitions.

Day 16

I am still young, will not rest just yet: Sharad Pawar

While addressing a rally in the Akola’s Balapur, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar told people that he is still young and will not rest untill he has defeated this unholy union of Bhartiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena. Sharad Pawar will be 79 years old by the end of this year. During his rally he made sure that people were convinced of his agenda to defeat the ruling government. He even assured his fellow party members that he is going no where till he has achieved this feat. Pawar during his speech told people that “I too am young just like you. I will go home once I have sent them (BJP-Shiv Sena) home.”

Pawar gave a big no to Sushil Kumar Shinde’s Congress-NCP Merger

While inaugurating the office of NCP election contesting candidate Manohar Sapte in Solapur, the former Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde indicated that Congress and NCP might have a merger. He said that both the parties are looking forward to it but none of them are ready to admit it yet. He further added that both the parties are contesting the elections under a coalition, is an indication itself that both are inclined towards the idea of a merger. Sharad Pawar on the other hand rubbished this idea by saying that it is not possible. He further added that Shinde might be speaking on behalf of Congress, but he doesn’t speak for NCP. He told his people that there are no such plans of merging even in the coming future.

Rahul Gandhi might visit Maharashtra during October 13- October 15: Sources

After constant thrashing and taunting of the Chief Minister Davendra Fadnavis, Rahul Gandhi might finally visit the state of Maharashtra before it goes for election. Fadnavis allegedly spoke at one of his rallies claiming that Indian National Congress had already conceded defeat and that is the reason that Ex-Congress Party Chief Rahul Gandhi is not even campaigning in the state of Maharashtra. He further taunted the Congress leader by saying that he is contemplating about his loss in Bangkok, Thailand.

Shiv Sena Corporators resign over the dispute on distribution of areas after coalition with BJP

26 Shiv Sena Corporators handed over their resignation to the party supreme Uddhav Thackrey on Wednesday, stating their unhappiness over the seat distribution formula with BJP. Fraction of party workers, around 300 in number have also tendered their resignations in order to strengthen their claim. The problematic area is mostly around Kalyan Constituency.

Day 17

Congress-NCP releases manifesto, lures unemployed youth & workers

Indian National Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and its allies jointly released the manifesto on October 7, for the upcoming Maharashtra polls to be held on October 21. The results of the poll will be announced on October 24. Congress-NCP duo has tried to woo the voters of all sections specially the unemployed youth and workers.

5,000 per month for unemployed youth

The grand old party INC and NCP have announced to allot monthly allowance of Rs 5,000 to the unemployed youth, along with fix a minimum salary of Rs 21,000 per month for workers, if the alliance is voted to power in the forthcoming state assembly polls.

Waive property tax

The manifesto also promised to waive property tax on residential accommodations of up to 500 sq. ft. area in all municipal corporations in Maharashtra. Apart from this, certain comfort will be provided to the traffic violators by reducing hefty fines mentioned in the new Motor Vehicle Act.

Raut sets the ball rolling

Sanjay Raut has been chanting a different mantra than his party colleagues and causing problem for the alliance by saying ‘A Shiv Sainik will be the Chief Minister in Maharashtra in the times to come, while addressing party’s Dussehra rally in Mumbai’. He further added that Shiv Sena’s name would be written on the first brick that would be used in the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Day 18

Thackeray bats for Ram temple

Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday stressed on the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya and demanded to make a special law for its immediate construction. Later he said that Shiv Sena is adamant to give reservation in jobs and education to the Dhangar (shepherd) community and will also fight for the rights of “India-loving” Muslims.

BJP, Shiv Sena certain to win

Uddhav Thackeray was in a cheerful mood while celebrating Vijayadashami on October 8. He is certain of the victory of BJP and Shiv Sena alliance and is planning to make October 24 as the second Vijayadashami when the state assembly polls results will be declared.

Ball in voters’ court

All the parties are trying their best to cajole the voters of different sections in Maharashtra. The ball is now in the court of Janta Janardhan (voters), they are the final judge and they will take the final decision of choosing the next government.

Day 19

Congress can’t revive in upcoming assembly polls: Owaisi

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi claimed top leadership of the Congress has “ignored” important elections in Maharashtra and Haryana. “The Congress has been wiped out from the political spectrum of the country. It can’t be revived even by a calcium injection,” he said. In the 2014 assembly elections the AIMIM bagged two seats in Maharashtra.

Demand of orators

Meanwhile campaign for the upcoming Maharashtra polls is at its peak. All the parties are busy in organising rallies, road shows and so on. The demand of excellent orators has gone up. As Bollywood is situated right in the capital city of the state Mumbai, celebrities are in huge demand.

NCP releases campaigners list

Meanwhile Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Saturday released a coveted list of 40-star campaigners for the upcoming Maharashtra polls to be held on October 21. Old warhorse of the party Sharad Pawar along with Praful Patel, Chagan Bhujbal, Supriya Sule, Jayant Patil, and Nawab Malik are among others who will participate in the rallies in the state to convince voters.

Day 20

Equal seat share

The Congress and NCP both the parties are contesting the polls on 125 seats each in the 288 members assembly. In the remaining 38 seats their allies of smaller parties will field candidates. Counting of votes in Maharashtra will take place on October 24.

Alliance a compromise

Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray has cleared his stand that no one from his party is running for the chief minister post. However, Uddhav Thackeray admitted that the Shiv Sena made “compromises” while forming an alliance with the BJP but the compromise was “for Maharashtra”. Out of the 288 state assembly seats, the Shiv Sena is contesting from 124, smaller NDA allies such as RPI and RSP will fight from 14, while BJP will field its candidates from 150 seats.

Two coalitions for Dangal

In Maharashtra there is a direct fight between two heavy-weights coalitions. BJP and Shiv Sena are stretching their limbs on the one corner, while Congress and NCP are warming up on the other corner for a tough bout. The ‘Dangal’ is just two weeks away and the result will be announced on October 24.

Day 21

Aaditya lacks political experience to hold top post: Uddhav

Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray is the first man of his family in five decades who is going to contest elections in Maharashtra. He is now the cynosure of all eyes at this moment. Sycophants are projecting him as the next chief minister of the state. But Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray is not ready to bat for his son.

Thackeray a newcomer

But party Chief Uddhav Thackeray said a politician doesn’t get the top job after taking “the first step in politics”. He has just entered into politics, this is just the beginning,” the Shiv Sena chief said at a joint press conference in the presence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Fadnavis said “I am confident, Aditya Thackeray will win by a very huge margin in the elections and we will see him with us in the assembly”.

Huge support for BJP, Shiv Sena

Addressing the media persons, Devendra Fadnavis said, “The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance got huge support from people in the Lok Sabha polls. The alliance between the two parties worked out, hence we decided that the same ‘mahayuti’ should come together in the Maharashtra assembly election.”

Deshmukh to take on Fadnavis

Meanwhile the Congress has decided to field former BJP MLA Ashish Deshmukh to contest against Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis from Nagpur South West seat for the upcoming state assembly polls on October 21. Deshmukh left the BJP and resigned from the Kaatol MLA seat in 2018. His demand was to make Vidarbha a separate state.

Day 22

Revolt in Congress, a nightmare for party top brass

The Congress has been facing the music of revolt from a key member of their Maharashtra cadre. The assembly elections are less than three weeks away. The party voted out of power in the 2014 assembly polls has even failed to register its presence in this year’s Lok Sabha elections in the state. Rebellion mood of senior Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam has sounded the alarming bell for the top brass of the party.

Revolt in Congress camp

Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam is irritated by the functioning of the party leadership. The Congress party ignored his views regarding assignment of tickets to fellow party men. Nirupam has predicted today that the party should get ready to lose all but “three-four” seats in Mumbai. He also blamed some of the leaders within the Congress for running a mission to throw out people close to Rahul Gandhi.

Nirupam speaks against party

Congress will lose its deposit (lose so badly that it has to forfeit its deposit money),” said Sanjay Nirupam, speaking to reporters a day after publicly speaking against his party in tweets.

Nirupam is adamant not to campaign for the Congress in the Maharashtra polls, he told reporters: “Now I will see you only on October 24, the day of the results.”

BJP releases 4th list

Maharashtra BJP has released its fourth list of candidates for the forthcoming assembly polls, while leaving out party leaders Vinod Tawde, Prakash Mehta and Eknath Khadse.

Seat-sharing no issue

The seat-sharing formula between two factions BJP and Shiv Sena has also been sorted out. BJP and Shiv Sena will contest from 150 and 124 seats respectively. Smaller allies will get a chance to fight from the remaining 14 seats.

Election Commission’s decisions

However, election commission has taken a decision to shift 5,000 polling booths from the first and second floor to the ground floor.

Tight security arrangements have been made for left Wing Extremism affected areas in Gadchiroli and Gondia in Maharashtra. There would be 95,473 polling stations this time in the comparison to 90,403 in 2014. It is expected that the expenditure limit for candidates would be Rs 28 lakh in each seat.

Day 23

Aaditya’s massive roadshow throng’s sea of people

Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray is upbeat and took out a huge roadshow and showed his prowess in Mumbai today, before filing his nomination papers. The 29-year old leader is the son of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and, will contest election from party’s stronghold Worli constituency. He has set a record to become the first member of his family in five decades to fight an election, since the foundation of the party by his grandfather Bal Thackeray.

Sea of crowd

The young Thackeray kicked off the road show from a Shiv Sena office in Lower Parel and ended it at the BMC Engineering Hub in Worli. When a journalist asked him “Am I talking to the next Chief Minister,” He smiled: “You are talking to someone who will always serve the state”. He told reporters that his aim was a “Naya (new) Maharashtra”. While he was filing the nomination papers his father/Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray, mother Rashmi and brother Tejas were also present.

BJP in elder brother’s role

The Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena on Tuesday released 125 and 68 candidates’ names respectively. The two parties had already announced of their unity, that they will contest Maharashtra elections together. It means BJP has been playing the role of an elder brother. In 2014 polls they parted ways after failing to secure a seat sharing agreement.

Day 24

Chhota Rajan’s brother gets ticket

Meanwhile ‘The Republican Party of India’ (Athawale), a smaller ally of the ruling BJP, has decided to field Deepak Nikalje, brother of jailed underworld gangster Chhota Rajan, from Phaltan Assembly constituency in Western Maharashtra.

Congress’ third list

On the other hand, Congress declared its third list of 20 candidates on Wednesday for the forthcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections. With this announcement the Congress party has released the name of 123 candidates. The romance of Congress and NCP is continuing with hue and cry in the upcoming state assembly polls.

Two major allies gear up

In other words, Maharashtra polls is the battle between two major allies. The BJP and Shiv Sena are stretching on one side of the court, and the Congress and NCP are warming up on the other side, for the October 21 grand finale.

Day 25

BJP-Sena agrees on seat-sharing formula

The contentious issue of seat-sharing formula for the October 21 polls has been finally settled down on Monday between BJP and Shiv Sena. BJP will contest from 162 seats, while Shiv Sena agreed to fight from 126 seats in the 288 Maharashtra assembly seats.

Shiv Sena 50:50 formula fail

Earlier Shiv Sena was adamant on 50:50 seat-sharing formula. But after hectic discussion between the top brass of both the parties sorted out the seat- sharing issue without much hue and cry. BJP has decided to assign some seats to smaller parties like RPI (Athavale group), the Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, Shiv Sangram and Rayat Kranti.

Sena joins in govt later in 2014

The saffron allies had contested the previous 2014 elections separately. BJP and Shiv Sena both the parties got 122 and 63 seats respectively. Later Sena shook hand with BJP and became the part of the Devendra Fadnavis government in the state.

Joint statement issues

Before the agreement on seat-sharing both parties issued a joint press statement in which formal announcement of alliance was made. The joint statement was inked by state BJP president Chandrakant Patil and stalwart of Shiv Sena Subhash Desai.

BJP offers Dy CM post

Meanwhile discussion after the result is also in the air. BJP has made it clear to offer the deputy chief minister’s post to Aaditya Thackeray, which would not be an easy pill for Shiv Sena to shallow. Aaditya Thackeray who is considered for this post is fielded from Worli constituency.

Voting through EVM

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has declared that random tally of EVMs with VVPATs will be done, just like the Lok Sabha polls which took place in April-May this year. ECI has revealed that 12 crore people of Maharashtra are eligible to cast their vote to elect 288 representatives, in which 29 and 25 seats are reserved for SC and ST respectively. The Election Commission has decided to set up 96,260 polling booths in the state to conduct free, fair and smooth voting.

Day 26

Shiv Sena & Congress release first list of candidates

Alliance between two heavyweights in Indian democracy is a challenge to be finalised.   The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena, both are looking airy-fairy in overcoming this hiccup. The names of prospective candidates of Shiv Sena are meanwhile cropping up for the upcoming Maharashtra polls on October 21.

Aaditya to fight from Worli

To begin with, Shiv Sena has declared the name of Aaditya Thackeray, son of party chief Uddhav Thackeray, as the candidate from the Worli seat in Mumbai. The party has also announced several candidate names for some more seats.

Day 27

Ministers get tickets

Maharashtra minister of state for home Deepak Kesarkar will fight from Sawantwadi in Konkan’s Sindhudurg while Rajesh Kshirsagar will contest  the elections from Kolhapur city, as per Sena sources. 

Seat-sharing a contentious issue

The seat-sharing formula between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena has not been fully sorted out. Talks are going on between both the parties and its final announcement  is expected on Tuesday in Mumbai.

BJP top leaders meet

Prime minister Narendra Modi, home minister Amit Shah and BJP working president J P Nadda spent several hours along with leaders of both the factions to finalise the name of part candidates and sort out other issues.

Day 28

Congress releases first list

On the other hand, Congress on Sunday without losing time announced its 51 candidates for the upcoming Maharashtra assembly polls on October 21. Former chief minister Ashok Chavan will contest from Bhokar constituency while state party chief Vijay alias Balasaheb Thorat will fight from Sangamner.  Former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s son Amit has been given ticket from the Latur City seat, while ex-Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s daughter Praniti has been fielded from Solapur City Central. The Congress has given tickets to 23 sitting MLAs out of the 42 seats the party bagged in the 2014 assembly polls.

Congress to unveil manifesto on Oct 2

All the parties are in the mood to field their best-possible candidates to entice the voters and get maximum seats. Congress, NCP and smaller allies have decided to meet on October 2 to finalise their election manifesto. But seat-sharing formula remains a controversial issue for all the big parties, which has not been finalised  yet.

Day 29 Update

ED probe against Pawar, a political move: NCP

In spite of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress announcing to fight Maharashtra assembly elections from one platform with 125 seats each, some differences on five to six seats between the two parties have not been sorted out yet. The problem has emerged on seats related to Akola (West), Balapur, Nagpur (North) and some constituencies in Pune and Aurangabad.

Congress optimistic

Earlier, Congress Rajya Sabha MP, Hussain Dalwai, had reportedly written to the high command, stating that the Congress has “high and bright chances” to win on seats such as Bhivandi and Govandi, which are being given away. He had added that while the party wants minority and Dalit votes, the party is “hesitant” to give.

ED charges political move

Meanwhile, Congress and NCP leaders are dejected over Enforcement Directorate (ED) levelling  corruption charges against NCP chief Sharad Pawar, his nephew and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, and others in money laundering scam. NCP has been accusing government for playing a politically motivated game to get advantage in the upcoming assembly polls in the state, scheduled on October 21.

BJP hides failure

Prominent NCP leaders have accused the state government of  failure in Maharashtra  on all fronts. The BJP government has been diverting the attention of the people from the real issues, feels NCP.

Blame game continues

Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar on Wednesday alleged that the ED action in the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank (MSCB) case was nothing more than politics and sought a probe against the “corrupt” ministers in the Devendra Fadnavis government.

Day 30 Update

BJP-Sena patch up continues

On the other hand, a tug of war has been cropping up between the ruling BJP and the heavyweight Shiv Sena in the political corridors of Maharashtra. Senior party leaders from both the factions are working on a war footing to patch up differences over the seat-sharing formula. At the moment Shiv Sena (Mange more) is demanding 50:50 seat-sharing formula out of a total of 288 seats. Meanwhile, BJP wants to make its position stronger in the state, so the party is adamant to allocate 10 seats to its minor ally the ‘Republican Party of India’. Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena hit the nail on the head when he said, “Alliance between the two parties is getting tougher than India-Pakistan partition”.

Disagreements and then an alliance before the polls between the BJP and the Shiv Sena is akin to an ongoing romance. As per Mary Angelou, “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” Ditto for these two parties. A feud erupted between them before the last assembly polls in the state in 2014. Both sides contested the elections separately, but later they shook hands and formed the government in Maharashtra together. At present, the BJP and the Shiv Sena have 122 and 63 representatives in the assembly. The same love-hate relationship repeated before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections too.

AAP releases first list

Not to be left behind, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also announced to fight on 50 odd assembly seats in Maharashtra. The AAP has released its first list of eight candidates. The party manifesto will be released in couple of days later. Preeti Sharma, national executive committee member and national spokesperson of the party said, “AAP will play a key opposition party role in the next assembly polls”.

Will Sharad Pawar and his NCP be able to fight the ED battle along with the electoral battle? Will the love affair between the BJP and the Shiv Sena continue or will there be a breakup? This is the main focus of attraction in Maharashtra at this moment.