The gamble by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah to do away with major allies propelled the party to power in Haryana for the first time and took it to striking distance of capturing power in Maharashtra.
In Haryana, the BJP secured a majority by bagging 47 seats in the 90-member Assembly, replicating the success of the recent Lok Sabha elections .
The Congress, which ruled Haryana for the last 10 years, came third with a mere 15 seats, while Om Prakash Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal secured 19 seats.
In Maharashtra, the BJP secured 122 seats in the 288-member Assembly. The Shiv Sena won 63 seats out of the 282 it contested.
Though falling short of majority by 23 seats, the BJP crossed the century mark, a feat last achieved by the Congress in 1990, when it had secured 141 seats.
Each side appeared to be waiting for the other to blink as support from unexpected quarters arrived with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) offering “unconditional outside support” to the BJP.
Meanwhile, government formation in Maharashtra veered towards the BJP possibly offering a power-sharing formula to the Sena without, of course, compromising on the chief minister’s post.
In a step towards that end, the BJP parliamentary board deputed Home Minister Rajnath Singh as its observer to oversee the process of choosing the party’s chief ministerial candidate and open talks with the Sena for forming the government.
There were enough indications that the BJP was likely to choose 44-year-old Maharashtra unit chief Devendra Fadnavis as its chief ministerial candidate.
“People have given us a positive mandate. The BJP will definitely form the government in Maharashtra. There will be a chief minister from the BJP,” Fadnavis said.
The Sena chief, however, played his cards close to his chest. Uddhav even suggested that the BJP was free to accept the NCP’s help. He reminded that Modi had during his aggressive campaign described the NCP as “naturally corrupt party.”
Shah was emphatic that Modi as the BJP’s mascot proved that the party’s show in the Lok Sabha polls was not an isolated achievement. Modi had campaigned extensively in both states, addressing 27 rallies in Maharashtra and 11 in Haryana.
The NCP and the Congress, which were decimated in their strongholds, won 41 and 42 seats respectively. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi attributed the results to the people’s desire for change.
The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena was reduced to one seat against the 13 it had won in the 2009 polls, while the Hyderabad-based All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen opened its account by winning two seats. The BJP’s ally, the Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, won one seat.
In the outgoing House, the BJP had 47 members and its then ally Shiv Sena 45.
The Congress had 81 and the NCP 62 seats.
The BJP’s tally this time is more than the combined figure of 92 seats it had won along with the Shiv Sena in the last polls.
The BJP and Shiv Sena together secured as many as 138 seats in 1995 (BJP-65, Shiv Sena-73) when they formed the first non-Congress coalition government in the state.
The silver lining for Congress and NCP was that despite the “Modi factor”, they managed to retain their base in the sugar belt of western Maharashtra, a traditional stronghold of the two parties.
In a major setback, former Maharashtra chief minister and Congress leader Narayan Rane lost to the Shiv Sena’s Vaibhav Naik in Kudal constituency.
Modi magic takes BJP from 4 to 47
CHANDIGARH: History was scripted in Haryana on Sunday after BJP, high on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charisma, stormed to power for the first time on its own and clinched 47 of the 90 assembly seats. It is a quantum jump for the party as the number of its MLAs swelled more than 12 times. It had only four legislators in 2009.
Hit by strong anti-incumbency and the Modi wave, the ruling Congress slipped to third spot with just 15 seats while strong regional outfit INLD could manage only 19.
By voting BJP to power, Haryana stuck to the conventional formula of the past 23 years – of going with the party in power at the Centre. The party too showed that its stunning performance in the Lok Sabha elections in May, when it won seven out of eight seats it contested, was no fluke. It had led in 52 assembly segments then.
All of BJP’s chief ministerial aspirants, including Manohar Lal Khattar, state party chief Ram Bilas Sharma, Om Parkash Dhankhar, Capt Abhimanyu and Anil Vij also won their respective seats. However, Sushma Swaraj’s sister Vandana Sharma, who was seen as a proxy for the Union minister, lost in Safidon.
During his rallies, Modi effectively projected the Robert Vadra land deal as the biggest symbol of Congress misrule in Haryana. His last-minute endorsement by Dera Sacha Sauda and Modi saluting khaps stirred up a controversy, but may have helped in garnering extra votes.
The Modi effect was so strong in the state that Congress lost even Rohtak, hometown of outgoing chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Both the opposition and Hooda’s detractors within Congress had blamed him for Rohtak-centric development, but even that was not enough for the chief minister to pocket the seat.
Congress’s bid to garner Sikh votes by splitting the Shiromani Sikh Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee (SGPC), too, failed. Most Sikh-dominated areas voted BJP. SAD contested on two seats here and lost one.
Overcoming initial setbacks to its buildup, the saffron party succeeded in delivering a stunning electoral performance as Modi made fervent appeals to the Haryana voters to give him a clear majority during his 11 rallies in the state.
BJP negated the impact of the breakup of its pre-poll alliance with Haryana Janhit Congress led by Kuldeep Bishnoi, son of former CM Bhajan Lal. It also recovered dramatically from its sloppy show in the assembly and Lok Sabha bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
To ensure victory in the prestigious seat of Uchana Kalan, where Congress-turned-BJP leader Birender Singh’s wife Prem Lata Singh was in the fray, a rally by Modi was planned in Jind at the last moment. Prem Lata won, defeating former Haryana CM Om Prakash Chautala’s grandson Dushyant by more than 7,000 votes.
First BJP CMs in Maharashtra, Haryana
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to have its first chief ministers in Haryana and Maharashtra. The party won a majority in Haryana, and in Maharashtra, it has emerged as the single largest party.
The party’s gamble of contesting alone in Haryana and snapping ties with its oldest ally, Shiv Sena, in Maharashtra have paid off. The results strengthen the hand of Prime minister Narendra Modi, who, along with BJP president Amit Shah, scripted the risky strategy in the first round of state elections after the Lok Sabha victory in May. Elections in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand are due in a few months and the party may consider a mid-term election in Delhi, now under central rule.
“For those who thought the Modi wave is over, this is proof that it’s still a tsunami that can crush all competition. People of India consider Narendra Modi their undisputed leader,” said Mr Shah, whose micro-management of election campaigns has become a defining character of the BJP along with the oratory of Mr Modi. The results will also mean less power for state leaders of the party, increasingly dominated by the national leadership.
However, failure to win a simple majority in Maharashtra left the BJP with a sense of incompleteness, though with twice as many seats as the Shiv Sena, the nearest opponent, it has established its primacy in the state for the first time. The Congress and the NCP were left far behind, with 42 and 41 seats respectively.
With Maharashtra and Haryana under the saffron flag, the BJP would now have six chief ministers, controlling large states. Alliance partners lead governments in Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. The BJP’s efforts to dictate the terms of engagement with allies got a further fillip with these results.