Mumbai: Maharashtra BJP chief Chandarakant Patil on Sunday blamed the presence of rebels for the party’s poor performance in western Maharashtra in the Assembly poll and the results were declared on October 24.
BJP won just 105 seats in the October 21 polls, down from 122 in 2014. BJP and its ally Shiv Sena together lost 13 seats in western Maharashtra. The BJP lost 4 seats in the region, a traditional bastion of the Congress and NCP, while the Sena suffered a drubbing on eight seats.
“One of the most important factors in BJP’s setback in western Maharashtra was the presence of rebels. We could not control them in time and division of votes helped Congress and NCP win more seats,” he told reporters here.
“The picture would have been different if we had managed to contain the rebels. They played spoilsport and it led to increased seats for the NCP in western Maharashtra,” he added.
The Sharad Pawar-led NCP garnered 16.7% votes in the 2019 polls, bagging 54 seats against 41 in 2014. Its vote share in 2014 was 17.2%. However, Patil said the BJP’s network and base has not eroded in the state.
He hit out at Shiv Sena Lok Sabha MP from Kolhapur, Sanjay Mandlik, for openly supporting Congress candidate Ruturaj Patil in the Kolhapur South Assembly seat.