Will win more seats than predicted by exit polls: Shiv Sena

With most exit polls predicting that the dominance of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena will continue in Maharashtra, the Sena said that it will win more seats than has been predicted. As per the exit polls, the Sena may lose more seats than the BJP in the state.

Most of the results of exit polls released on Sunday showed the BJP-Sena combine bagging around 35-36 seats in Maharashtra. The Sena is projected to win 11 to 13 seats, which is a considerable drop from its 2014 tally. In 2014, the BJP and Sena had won 23 and 18 seats, respectively.

With state Assembly elections just four months away, a drop in its numbers could mean less political relevance for the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena.

The party welcomed the predictions for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), but said that it would bag more seats than the predictions show. “The numbers look good for the NDA. I have been saying that the NDA will form the next government at the Centre. Our (Shiv Sena’s) tally will be better than what the exit polls suggest,” said Sena leader Sanjay Raut.

On Sunday, two exit polls released the number of seats BJP and Sena are projected to win in Maharashtra. According to the India TV-CNX exit poll, the BJP may bag 20 of the 25 seats it contested from in Maharashtra, while Sena may win 14 of 23 seats. ABP News-Nielsen projected the BJP and Sena would win 17 seats each. Sena functionaries said the decision to ally with the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections may have impacted their numbers, but maintained that the final results would overtake the predictions.

Shiv Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe issued a statement, saying, “There have been some exit polls before the results on May 23. We expect that Narendra Modi would become the prime minister. Uddhavji has travelled across the state to spread the word about the alliance’s work. The exit polls show that NDA alliance will get success. We would like to say that better success will come for the Sena and the BJP [in the final result]. Whatever mandate we get from the people, we will humbly accept it.” Meanwhile, Raut said the results of the Lok Sabha elections would not impact the Sena’s bargaining power during the upcoming Assembly elections in Maharashtra. “First, it will help install a Modi government at the Centre and then we will see about the Maharashtra elections,” Raut said.

First Published:
May 21, 2019 01:08 IST

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