The result was so disastrous for the Congress and the NCP that they lost 41 seats out of 48 to the BJP-Shiv Sena combine.
Syed Firdaus Ashraf/Rediff.com reports.
The Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, led by Prakash Ambedkar, in alliance with Asaduddin Owaisi's All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, proved to be a gamechanger for the Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena combine in a handful of seats across Maharashtra.
Thanks to the VBA, the Congress and its allies lost at least seven seats in Maharashtra.
The VBA won a single seat in the state, Aurangabad, but played a decisive role in defeating the Congress-NCP in Nanded, Osmanabad, Parbhani, Akola, Gadchiroli-Chimur, Solapur and Hatkanangale.
Journalist-turned-politician Imtiaz Jaleel won the Aurangabad seat by 4,492 votes while the Congress candidate was pushed to fourth position.
Before the polls, Ambedkar had been sending feelers to the Congress and the NCP for a tie-up. But the United Progressive Alliance partners did not show any interest.
After losing the election in the state, many Congress and NCP leaders have said that Ambedkar demanded a hefty 12 seats (Maharashtra has 48 MPs), which was too much.
However, VBA leaders have denied the claim.
In the election, former chief minister Sushilkumar Shinde lost to the BJP's Swami Siddheshwar Shivacharya by 156,000 votes in Solapur, where Ambedkar was himself in the fray and polled 168,694 votes.
In Nanded, state Congress chief Ashok Chavan suffered a defeat by 42,000 votes, while the VBA's Yashpal Bhinge polled over 164,000 votes.
BJP President Amit Anilchandra Shah played a masterstroke by stitching an alliance with sulking National Democratic Alliance partner, Shiv Sena, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Just like in Bihar, where Shah gave five sitting BJP MP seats to the Janata Dal-United to save the alliance with Nitish Kumar, in Maharashtra he agreed to the Sena's demand for more seats than it contested in 2014 (20 seats).
Shah agreed, and the Sena got 24 seats this time.
At the end of the day, the BJP-Shiv Sena won 41 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra while the Congress won one and the NCP four seats.
The numbers could have been different had the VBA been accommodated by the latter.
|Nanded||Prataprao Patil Chikhalikar/BJP||486806|
|Ashok Shankarrao Chavan/INC||446658|
|Narsingrao Yashpal Bhinge/VBA||166,196|
|Solapur||Dr Jai Sidheshwar Shivachary Mahaswamiji/BJP||524,985|
|Sushilkumar Sambhajirao Shinde/INC||366,377|
|Prakash Yashvant Ambedkar/VBA||170,007|
|Hatkanangle||Dhairyasheel Sambhajirao Mane/Shiv Sena||585,776|
|Raju Anna Shetti/Swabhimani Paksha||489,737|
|Aslam Badshahaji Sayyad/VBA||123,419|
|Vishal Prakashbapu Patil/Swabhimani Paksha||344,643|
|Gopichand Kundlik Padalkar/VBA||300,234|
|Buldhana||Prataprao Ganpatrao Jadhav/Shiv Sena||521,977|
|Dr Rajendra Bhaskarrav Shingne/INC||388,690|
|Siraskar Baliram Bhagwan/VBA||172,627|
|Parbhani||Sanjay Haribhau Jadhav/Shiv Sena||538,941|
|Rajesh Uttamrao Vitekar/INC||496,742|
|Alamgir Mohammad Khan/VBA||149,946|
|Gadchiroli-Chimur||Ashok Mahadeorao Nete/BJP||519,968|
|Dr Namdeo Dalluji Usendi/INC||442,442|
|Dr Rameshkumar Baburaoji Gajbe/VBA||111,468|