FIR against Sharad Pawar did the damage while 370 may not have clicked: BJP Leaders

Although there was an initial view that ‘over reliance’ on Article 370 may have damaged BJP’s electoral chances in Maharashtra, the party now believes that though it may not have benefitted from the issue, it did not damage its prospects.

BCCL
The ED has registered a case involving Pawar and 70 former functionaries of the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank as part of a probe into an alleged Rs 25,000-cr scam.
MUMBAI: Enforcement Directorate’s FIR against Sharad Pawar and his visit to the ED office may have adversely affected the BJP, according to the party’s preliminary analysis of the Maharashtra assembly elections. Although there was an initial view that ‘over reliance’ on Article 370 may have damaged BJP’s electoral chances in Maharashtra, the party now believes that though it may not have benefitted from the issue, it did not damage its prospects.

“The ED investigation on Pawar and how he used it to his advantage seems to have worked against us, especially in western Maharashtra,” a BJP leader said. The party’s performance in western Maharashtra and the defeat of Udayan Raje Bhosle — who quit as NCP MP to contest the Satara bypoll on a BJP ticket — showed that ED naming Pawar in a FIR did not go down well with the Maratha community, the leader said.

The party also believes floods in western Maharashtra and voter anger over ‘inadequate’ rescue and relief contributed to BJP’s below par electoral performance. There is also a view that the alliance with the Shiv Sena did not help the BJP much as votes from the Sena were not ‘transferred’ to the BJP in many constituencies.


“In places like Kolhapur, Sena MP Sanjay Mandlik openly worked against our candidates. What use is the alliance for us if the Sena is going to work against us openly,” asked a BJP leader. Incidentally, Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil too had on Sunday alleged that Mandlik worked against BJP candidates in Kolhapur. Patil named three constituencies where Mandlik ‘worked against’ BJP’s official candidates and had ‘helped’ NCP win. Given the delicate nature of the ties with Sena at present, it would be interesting to see whether this view will gain ground in BJP.
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