Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Monday said that in this election BJP is going to win lesser seats in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh than it had won in 2014. The popular Dalit leader from Maharashtra said that BJP would lose 10-15 seats in Uttar Pradesh due to the SP-BSP-RLD alliance. It may be recalled that in 2014, BJP and its allies Apna Dal had won 73 out of 80 seats at stake in Uttar Pradesh but in 2014 SP and BSP had not fought as an alliance.
Athawale also predicted that the saffron party is on course to lose 5-6 seats which it had won in 2014 Lok Sabha poll in Maharashtra. In 2014, BJP-Shiv Sena alliance had performed very well in Maharashtra, winning 42 out of 48 seats in the state. Athawale, however, noted that in 2014, Raju Shetty of Swabhimaani Setkari Party was with the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance but this time he is supporting Congress-NCP alliance. Athawale said that the BJP will make up for the losses in these two states by winning a good number of seats in West Bengal and Odisha and Narendra Modi will become prime minister once again. West Bengal and Odisha have 42 and 21 Lok Sabha seats respectively.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena is unwilling to speak anything on the number of seats which the BJP is expected to win in this Lok Sabha election. Talking to Zee Media, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that BJP-led NDA will get a clear cut majority. Raut’s statement sends a clear message that Sena does not want the BJP to get a majority of its own and the saffron party forms the next government only with the support of alliance partners.
Earlier, senior BJP leader Ram Madhav had also hinted that the BJP may not touch the majority mark on its own in this election. But the BJP is not taking Athawale’s assessment seriously. Maharashtra BJP leader Keshav Upadhaya said that the BJP will perform well in this election and the party will win more seats than 2014.