The BJP-Shiv Sena combine was ahead in 44 of the 48 Lok Sabha constituencies in Maharashtra, and appeared to have got an unassailable lead in around half a dozen seats, as per trends are available so far. The BJP was ahead in 24 seats and the Sena in 20, while the NCP was ahead in three and the AIMIM in one seat.
Elections in Mumbai are always keenly watched for its high profile candidates and famous voters. The city also holds six crucial Lok Sabha seats out of a total 48 in Maharashtra. It will soon be clear which candidates will emerge victorious in Mumbai as counting begins. In Mumbai, it is a head-on contest between the two alliances of Congress-NCP and BJP-Shiv Sena. BJP and Sena had swept Mumbai in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, winning all six seats.
So why is the Congress-NCP alliance struggling in Lok Sabha elections 2019?
The Congress may draw a blank in the six Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai in these elections after having cornered a lion’s share of five seats in the 2009 elections. Three seats were won by the BJP, while three went to Sena in 2014. But five years after the last elections, with the waning of the Modi wave, the fight this time was supposed to be clearly a lot tougher. Mumbai’s six Lok Sabha seats are a prestige issue for both the BJP-Sena and Congress-NCP combine. The former has to hold on to its seats, the latter has to regain some ground. Several high-profile candidates are in the fray.
But today we have seen the Congress-NCP candidates losing in Mumbai. So what might be the reason? Hindutva agenda.
Hindutva is the predominant form of Hindu nationalism in India. In 2014’s general election, the BJP led the elections on points like Black money, Terrorism, Corruption, Employment. But now in Lok Sabha elections 2019 it is looking like the BJP is bending towards Hindutva Agenda. Five years have passed. And the cycle has come a full circle. As we move towards the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP’s transit back to an openly majoritarian Hindutva campaign forces deeper questions to come to the surface.
The BJP’s high command, consists of only two people namely, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. Most of the decision are taken by the duo. Besides, signs of Ayodhya, Ram Temple and Hindutva snowballing into major political issues are already visible.
Both, Congress-NCP, party leaders were less on the grounds in Mumbai in the past five years. In Mumbai-North, BJP’s Gopal Shetty established a lead of 94,267 votes over Congress’ nominee Urmila Matondkar. But now she is crying foul and has said that there was a mismatch in signatures on EVM forms. “On the form of EVM 17C from Magathane, the signatures and the machine numbers are different. A complaint has been filed with the Election Commission,” she tweeted.
Mumbai Congress president Milind Deora was also staring at a defeat as he was trailing by 67,238 votes in Mumbai South. In Mumbai, the Congress as well as NCP candidates were set to be routed as the BJP-Sena combine was leading in all the six seats. So is Hindutva Agenda the reason behind Congress and NCP’s loss in Mumbai.