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  Metros   Mumbai  28 May 2018  Two Lok Sabha seats go to polls today

Two Lok Sabha seats go to polls today

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : May 28, 2018, 1:07 am IST
Updated : May 28, 2018, 1:07 am IST

It’s important for BJP to win both to keep party beyond halfway mark.

Maharashra CM Devendra Fadnavis
 Maharashra CM Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai: Two Lok Sabha constituencies of Maharashtra will go to the polls on Monday. While Palghar will see a triangular neck-and-neck contest among the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Shiv Sena and the local Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA), the Bhandara-Gondia seat will witness a straight fight between the BJP and the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alliance. The two byelections are crucial for the BJP to maintain its majority in the Lok Sabha. For the Opposition, on the other hand, the elections are the key to gaining momentum against the ruling BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in 2019.

For the BJP, which leads the ruling alliances at the Centre and in the state, both the seats hold great importance. The party was voted to power in 2014 with 282 seats but its number in the lower house has been reduced to 272 already. To keep its simple majority in the Lok Sabha, the party must win these seats.

 

Palghar has become a matter of prestige for the state BJP. It was forced to borrow a candidate from the Congress as the son of its deceased MP Chintaman Vanaga joined the Shiv Sena and was made its candidate. This has embarrassed the BJP already. So, a victory in Palghar is an important for the party on a psychological level too.

The Shiv Sena, by breaking its alliance with the BJP and giving ticket to Shrinivas Vanaga, surprised all. The party rejected outright all back door and public alliance proposals of the BJP. Now, the party will have to prove that contesting Palghar alone was the right decision.

BVA is the dark horse in the contest. This party has cadres at every booth in the constituency and it is banking on its man-to-man strategy.

 

Comparatively the Bhandara-Gondia was fought with less bitterness. Here BJP and NCP-Congress alliance are locked in a straight fight. The NCP has given its ticket to a former BJP MLA. This seat had been a bastion of NCP’s Praful Patel, but he lost it in 2014.

Tags: palghar bypoll, devendra fadnavis