The Congress-NCP coalition in Maharashtra, which sends most MPs to the Lower House only after Uttar Pradesh, might have to scramble hard to see off BSP’s challenge this time around.

The BSP is expected to give stern competition on several seats to the Congress-NCP alliance in Maharashtra.

The National Congress Party (NCP) and Congress enjoy a lion share of the Dalit vote bank in Maharashtra. However, the BSP has in the past always played a significant role in deciding their fate in the state.

In the 2004 general elections, the Congress-NCP alliance suffered defeats in 12 seats in Maharashtra due to BSP.

Ujjwala Shinde, the wife of then state chief minister Sushilkumar Shinde, had lost from her constituency by just 5,798 votes while the BSP candidate had managed to get 12,000 votes.

Senior NCP leader Praful Patel had lost from the Bhandara constituency in 2004 by a mere three thousand margin, mainly because the BSP candidate had garnered 90,000 votes from his seat.

There are several other such examples when BSP acted as a catalyst for NCP-Congress candidate’s defeat in Maharashtra

The BSP might have not been successful in winning any seat from Maharashtra but by fielding its candidates, it played an immense role in ensuring defeats of several Congress-NCP contestants.

In the 2009 general elections, out of 48 seats in Maharashtra, the BSP had managed to take third position in 20 seats while it came fourth on another 20 seats.

The BSP managed to acquire more than 50,000 votes in around eight constituencies while it got more than one lakh votes on three seats in the state.

Despite the presence of senior Dalit leaders like Shinde, Mukul Wasnik and Rajendra Gavai in Maharashtra, the BSP candidates still garnered around five to eight percent votes.

The BSP would once again field candidates from every seat in Maharashtra for the general elections. BSP supremo Mayawati would conduct four rallies in the state.

The BSP would be hoping to repeat its 2004 showing in the state, which can well prove to be a hammer blow for the NCP-Congress alliance’s bid to revive their electoral fortunes.


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