Why Maharashtra did not fall to BJP in the same way as Karnataka, MP did | India News

NEW DELHI: The breakaway faction of the Shiv Sena led by Eknath Shinde withdrew support to the two-and-a-half-year-old Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra, causing its downfall on Wednesday. Uddhav Thackeray announced he was stepping down before he submitted his resignation to governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari. It was the third government in the last three years after Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh (MP) to have fallen due to defections.
Though there are several similarities in the manner in which the governments fell in Karnataka, MP and Maharashtra, there are striking differences too.
Similarities between Karnataka, MP and Maharashtra
As far as similarities are concerned, no single party won a majority in any of these states. The BJP emerged as the single largest party in Karnataka and Maharashtra while the Congress got maximum number of seats in MP. But no party was in a position to form government on its own.
The BJP tried to form government in Karnataka and Maharashtra but it failed. BS Yediyurappa took oath in 2018 but stepped down as he could not cobble up a majority.
Similarly, Devendra Fadnavis took oath as Maharashtra CM in 2019 claiming that he had the support of a faction of NCP MLAs led by Ajit Pawar. However, Pawar returned to his party fold and Fadnavis’s experiment failed.
In all the three states, governments were finally formed after some parties forged post-poll alliances. While the Congress and former prime minister Deve Gowda-led JD(S) stitched an alliance in Karnataka, the Congress came together with Mayawati-led BSP and some independents in MP. In Maharashtra, the Congress, Sharad Pawar-headed NCP and Shiv Sena together formed government.
HD Kumaraswamy of JD(S), Kamal Nath of Congress and Uddhav Thackeray of Shiv Sena became the CMs of Karnataka, MP and Maharashtra respectively.
In all the three states, the BJP was the main opposition party.
Maharashtra’s case was slightly different from that of Karnataka and MP. The BJP had contested the elections in Karnataka and MP alone. However, it had entered into a pre-poll alliance with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra while the Congress and the NCP had separately fought the election.
The BJP won 105 of the 288 seats and Shiv Sena got 56 seats. Together they had 161 seats, 16 seats more than the majority mark of 145. However, the Shiv Sena laid claim to the chief minister’s post which the BJP did not agree to. The alliance broke and Shiv Sena forged a post-poll alliance with the NCP (54 seats) and the Congress (44 seats) to form government.
The similarities end here.
Difference between Karnataka, MP and Maharashtra
The main difference between the change of government midway between the three states is the manner of defection.
In Karnataka and MP, MLAs of the respective ruling parties resigned in bunches to bring down the majority mark. While the ruling coalitions fell below the magic number, the BJP crossed it and formed government in these two states. The BJP won most of the seats on which byelections were held in these two states.
On the other hand, no resignations took place in Maharashtra. Since the same tactic could not succeed here, more than two-thirds of the MLAs of the ruling Shiv Sena broke away from the party and withdrew support to the MVA government. They formed an alliance with the BJP to form government on Thursday. While Eknath Shinde took oath as CM, Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP was sworn in as deputy CM.
While the Shinde faction claims to have the support of 50 MLAs, the BJP has 106 MLAs. Together, they form majority.
Case of Karnataka
The 2018 state poll threw up a hung assembly, with the BJP emerging as the single largest party by winning 104 seats. Congress won 78 seats while former prime minister HD Deve Gowda-led JD(S) bagged 37 seats.
With no party getting a clear majority, the state plunged into instability. BJP’s Yediyurappa was sworn in as chief minister on May 17, 2018, but was forced to resign on May 19, 2018, after failing to prove majority.
Then JD(S) and Congress then forged a post-poll alliance to form a government with the former’s HD Kumaraswamy sworn in as chief minister. However, that government could not last long. Fourteen MLAs of Congress and three of JD(S) rebelled against their respective parties and resigned from the assembly in July.
The resignation of these 17 MLAs brought down the assembly strength from 225 to 208 seats. The magic number also got reduced to 105 and it led to the downfall of the Kumaraswamy government. Yediyurappa was sworn in as CM again on July 26, 2019. Of the 17 seats which fell vacant, byelections were held on 15.
The BJP registered an impressive win in the byelections, winning 12 of the 15 seats that went to polls on December 5, 2019.
With these results, the strength of the Karnataka assembly went up from 208 to 223 and that of the BJP from 105 to 117, four more than the halfway mark.
Case of Madhya Pradesh
The 2018 MP assembly election threw up a hung house. The Congress won 114 of the 230 seats, falling just two short of the majority mark. The ruling BJP was victorious on 109 seats while the BSP won 2 seats, the Samajwadi Party 1 and independents 4 seats.
The Congress cobbled up a majority with the BSP and independents and Kamal Nath became the CM.
However, in March 2020, 22 Congress MLAs, mostly loyalists of Jyotiraditya Scindia, resigned from the party and their assembly membership.
A floor test was called on the orders of the Supreme Court after resignations by 22 MLAs pulled the ruling Congress well below the halfway mark in the state assembly.
By July 23, 2020, three more Congress MLAs resigned and joined the BJP.
The assembly’s strength got reduced to 205 and the majority mark came down to 103. While Kamal Nath had the support of 99 MLAs, including independents, the BJP was clearly ahead at 106.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan of the BJP succeeded Kamal Nath as MP CM.
Besides these 25 seats, three more lay vacant due to the deaths of sitting MLAs.
Elections to 28 assembly seats were held on November 3, 2020. The BJP won 19 and the Congress 9. In the 2018 assembly election, BJP had won only one of these 19 seats. Its tally improved to 123, crossing the simple majority mark of 115.

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