By Pratap Vardhan
This year's Maharashtra assembly election results are the result of two break-ups – between the BJP and the Shiv Sena, and the one between Congress and the NCP. The net result was a resounding vote for the BJP, with the Sena bruised and battered to a distant second.
The Maharashtra break-ups had consequences for the fledgling parties too. Mumbai’s own 'insider' Raj Thackeray and his MNS had to settle for just one seat and 'outsider' AIMIM got two seats. A key conclusion is that in all scenarios the BJP would have been the top party in the state, even if it had fought alone and the Congress-NCP alliance had stayed intact.
With 288 seats in play, the electorate did not give any party a clear mandate. It is thus interesting to speculate what would have happened if some break-ups did not happen or if there were new alliances.
Our analysis shows that if the pre-poll alliances between BJP-SS and INC-NCP were intact – the BJP-SS could have crossed the 200-seat mark. That would have resulted in the MNS losing its sole seat, and the AIMIM getting restricted to Aurangabad.
Now, for statistical pleasure, let’s take up a few scenarios and see how the results would have been different under different in these.
Scenario 1: Had Shiv Sena and MNS tied up for the election, the Marathi manoos alliance would have additionally won 15 seats, assuming no other parties had teamed up. This pair would have eaten at least eight seats from the BJP’s final tally of 122.
Scenario 2: Had INC and AIMIM tied up for the election, it would have additionally won three seats, with no other parties teaming up. This pair would have managed to grab a mere three seats from the Saffron parties.
Scenario 3: Had only NCP and AIMIM tied-up for the election, the alliance would have additionally won only one seat from INC.
Scenario 4: What would have happened if the INC and NCP had retained their alliance after the BJP-Sena break-up? The alliance would have additionally won 37 seats, taking 20 and 12 seats from the BJP and SS respectively. It would have also taken the one seat of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
Scenario 5: The biggest shake-up would have happened if the BJP and Sena had stayed together, but the rest had fought alone. In this scenario, the BJP-Sena alliance would have additionally won 42 seats. It would have pushed the BJP-SS combine to 227 seats. The MNS would have lost its one seat in such a case as well.
By going ahead with no alliances, there were some gainers and losers. Shiv Sena could have won more seats if it were with the BJP. The BJP, had it contested alone, even under the worst-case scenario four, would have crossed 100 seats. Thus, the BJP was clearly set to become the biggest party in the state, alliance or no alliance. For the INC or NCP, even under Scenario four, with no BJP-SS alliance, it wouldn’t have been able to form the government.
The BJP-SS breakup in fact benefited MNS the most, leaving at least one seat for the party, and the AIMIM, which got an extra seat in Byculla. Breakups or no breakups, the Rashtriya Samaj Paksha and the Samajwadi Party were least affected. They would have won their seats in all these scenarios.
Pratap Vardhan is a Data Scientist at Gramener.com
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Updated Date: Oct 21, 2014 21:36:21 IST