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The Battle for Maharashtra

Cong-NCP wins 138 seats, Sena-BJP 118

October 16, 2004 11:13 IST
Last Updated: October 16, 2004 18:17 IST

The ruling alliance looks all set to form the government in Maharashtra winning 138 seats in the 288-member assembly. Congress-NCP allies RPI(A) and CPI(M) got one and  three seats respectively. The opposition Shiv Sena-BJP alliance managed to win 118 seats.

The Congress legislature party is likely to meet on Sunday to elect the new leader. Similarly, NCP is likely to elect its leader. Senior Congress leaders Pranab Mukherjee and Gulam Nabi Azad are arriving in the city later in the day to supervise the election of the new leader.

 Assembly Positions

Democratic Front

Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray has also called a meeting of the party legislators. BJP leader Sushma Swaraj conceded defeat saying "it is over for us in Maharashtra".

Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde (Congress), his deputy Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil (NCP), senior minister Patangrao Kadam (Congress), finance minister Jayant Patil and former deputy chief minister Chaggan Bhujbal (both NCP) were among the prominent ruling front winners.

On the opposition side, former chief minister Narayan Rane (Shiv Sena) has won from Malvan, while former deputy chief minister Gopinath Munde (BJP) won Renapur in Marathwada.

Prominent among independent winners were Madan Patil from Sangli, Satej Patil from Karveer both in Western Maharashtra as also former don Arun Gawli from Chinchpokli in Mumbai.

The chief minister's son-in-law and Congress nominee from Malabar Hill Raj Shroff lost to Mangal Prabhat Lodha of BJP, who was the sitting member.

The hopes of the saffron combine, which harped on "under-performance" of the ruling Democratic Front, to stage a
comeback to power appears to have been dashed. However, the results and trends indicated that the Congress-NCP may fall short of the simple majority by a few seats and will have to seek support of the Independents and rebels, who have romped home in 17 constituencies and are leading in three others.

BJP state unit chief Gopinath Munde admitted that the saffron combine has "lagged behind" but put up a brave face saying "no political combination will gain simple majority". But Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar, the main architect of
the victory for the ruling coalition, said the chief minister's post would go to the Congress and his party would back the elected leader.

Chart: Vinayak Badkas

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