The Western state of India was a stage for some high profile electoral battles between the candidates of BJP-Shiv Sena alliance against the Congress-NCP duo. Winning Maharashtra is crucial for any political party as the state holds 42 Lok Sabha seats, second highest after Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP and Shiv Sena alliance in the state won 23 and 18 seats respectively bringing their tally to 41 in the state's 48 seats. While NCP won 4 seats, Congress was reduced to 1 seat won by Suresh alias Balu Dhanorkar from Chandrapur, where Union minister Hansraj Ahir lost. The AIMIM got its first MP from the state as its nominee Imtiaz Jaleel won from Aurangabad, defeating the Sena nominee Chandrakant Khaire.
This time around, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari sought re-election from Nagpur. BJP's senior leader was facing Nana Patole of the Congress who was elected to Lok Sabha in 2014 as BJP MP from Bhandara-Gondiya but resigned one-and-a-half years back as a mark of protest against the Centre’s anti-farmer and authoritarian functioning. Gadkari won the seat.
In Solapur, it was a triangular battle between former Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde of the Congress, Dr. Jaysiddheshwar Shivachaya Maharaj of the BJP and Prakash Ambedkar of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA). Shinde was defeated.
The seat of Ahmednagar saw two young and aspiring politicians Dr. Sujay Vikhe-Patil (BJP), son of Leader of opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil of Congress, take on Sangram Jagtap, an NCP MLA. Dr. Sujay Vikhe-Patil (BJP), son of Leader of opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil won the seat for the BJP
NCP leader Ajit Pawar’s son Parth made his political debut from Maval while actor Amol Kolhe, known for portraying on-screen characters of Chhatrapati Shivaji and Chhatrapati Sambhaji, was NCP candidate from Shirur.
"Laaj kashi vaatat naahi" (How come they do not feel ashamed?) was the question the Congress-NCP combine posed to the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in their 2019 Lok Sabha campaign. The campaign, which was launched in print-electronic-social media, aimed to shame the ruling dispensation on its 'failure' to fulfil poll promises over past five year.
The Cong-NCP duo also resorted to short clips on issue of women safety. The Congress-NCP latched onto BJP MLA Ram Kadam's "will kidnap the girl despite rejection" viral clip to bolster its point.
On the other side of the fence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a couple of rallies in Maharashtra to boost the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena campaign in Maharashtra.
PM Modi in one of his rally took a jibe at his opponent Sharad Pawar saying that he decided not to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls after realising that the situation was not in his favour.
"Pawar decided against contesting the polls sensing unfavourable situation. There is infighting in the NCP, the party is slipping from Pawar's grip," he said.
This time around, the BJP campaign took an innovative turn with Maharashtra cabinet ministers and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Sudhir Mungantiwar and Chandrakant Bacchu Patil flagging off 48 new age raths for Maharashtra parliamentary constituencies as part of the campaign strategy for 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The new age raths went around Maharashtra, informing people about the work done by the Modi government in the last five years. The hoardings on the raths carried pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and details of BJP-Shiv Sena's achievements.
In 2014 Lok Sabha Election Shiv Sena-BJP combined had bagged 41 out of the 48 seats in the state, with BJP winning 23 and Shiv Sena winning 18 seats. The Congress and NCP combined had managed to get only two and four seats respectively in 2014.
In 2009, Sena and BJP with 11 and 9 respectively had won 20 seats together. BJP-Shiv Sena's best performance in Parliament was 33 seats in the year 1996.