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Maharashtra: NCP’s Majid Memon says Congress to blame if BJP-Shiv Sena retains power

FE Online

Senior Nationalist Congress Party leader Majid Memon has lashed out at the Congress for not campaigning hard to woo voters in the run-up to the Assembly elections in Maharashtra. Memon went on to say that the Congress will be solely responsible if the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance returns to power in the state.

"Congress leaders didn’t work hard enough during the campaign in Maharashtra. And if we don’t get success, then the Congress will be responsible," he said.

However, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said that the statements issued by Memon are his personal views. He said that the NCP respects its partners and exuded confidence that the BJP and Sena alliance will be brought to their knees.

"His (Majid Memon) statements have no relation to the party. Congress and NCP have fought elections together and will continue to remain in alliance to dethrone the casteist parties," he said.

Elections to elect a new government in the state concluded on Monday evening. The state recorded a voter turnout of 61.13%, a dip from 63.20% in 2014. The highest turnout, of 83.93%, was reported in the Karveer assembly seat in Kolhapur, while the lowest was in south Mumbai’s upmarket Colaba area at 40.11%.

Most exit polls have predicted an easy win for the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena in the 288-member Assembly. The alliance is likely to win 200-222 seats while the Congress-NCP could be restricted to 50-55 seats.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed nine rallies across the state in the course of the campaign, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressed six. NCP chief Sharad Pawar seemed to be the only saving grace who addressed 79 rallies. He took on the BJP and PM Modi on a string of issues while the Congress played second fiddle.

The issue of Congress leaders missing in action had cropped during the campaign as well when BJP leaders raised it publically. Pawar, however, downplayed the issue and maintained that both parties are working hard on multiple levels and the alliance would win comfortably.

Elections to the 288-member Assembly were held on October 21 and the counting of votes will be undertaken on Thursday, October 24.