Mumbai: The Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena alliance is buoyant ahead of the counting of votes for the Lok Sabha polls on Thursday. While the exit polls have predicted smooth sailing for the alliance in urban areas, its performance in rural areas will be crucial in determining whether the allies can repeat its impressive feat in the 2014 polls.
In the last Lok Sabha polls, the BJP-Sena alliance had won 42 seats out of 48 in Maharashtra.
The NCP and the Congress, however, managed to win only four and two seats respectively. In Mumbai, the alliance had swept all the six seats in the city.
In the Mumbai North seat, the fight is between MP Gopal Shetty (BJP) and Urmila Matondkar (Congress).
In Mumbai North East, Manoj Kotak (BJP) is pitted against Sanjay Dina Patil (NCP).
In the Mumbai North West seat, sitting MP Gajanan Kirtikar (Shiv Sena) is fighting against Sanjay Nirupam (Congress) whereas in Mumbai North Central, BJP MP Poonam Mahajan contesting against Priya Dutt (Congress).
In Mumbai South Central, MP Rahul Shewale (Shiv Sena) is pitted against Eknath Gaikwad (Congress) and in Mumbai South, Sena’s MP Arvind Sawant is contesting against Milind Deora (Congress).
The majority of exit polls have shown that the BJP-Sena alliance will win the most seats in Mumbai whereas Congress is expected to score a win in one or two seats.
The last two Lok Sabha polls have shown that the parties favoured by Mumbaikars have formed the government at the Centre. In the year 2009, Congress-NCP had won all six seats in the city and formed the government at the Centre. In 2014, the BJP-Sena swept all the seats and went on to rule Delhi.
But it will be in the rural areas that the Congress-NCP combine is expecting to thwart the BJP-Sena alliance. According to exit polls, most of the Opposition’s wins are likely to come from such seats only. “We are confident of winning in the city, state as well as the country. We will definitely form the government at the Centre,” said a senior BJP leader.
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