After facing an infurious defeat in the Lok Sabha elections the Congress is battling an existential crisis. The grand old party’s reputation its ideology and its standing on various issues are questioned, not only by the ruling BJP but also by its followers, supporters and even senior members.
Right now the poll bugle in Maharashtra has been sounded, the Election Commission of India has announced polling dates and the campaign is in full swing. The primary players in the fray are the BJP, the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the NCP. In other words this is an electoral battle of two alliance the BJP and Shiv Sena and the Congress and NCP. The NCP failed to convert its vote share into seats in the Lok Sabha elections. It is contesting the assembly election under the shadow of ED mounting heat on president Sharad Pawar. Just like the Congress, the NCP house isn’t in order and leaders have switched sides and joined BJP.
In 1995 in the wake of demolition of the Babri Masjid Congress lost power to the BJP-Shiv Sena combine in Maharashtra. In 1999 NCP was formed as the single largest party with 75 seats in the assembly election that year. The NCP Congress combine ruled Maharastra for 15 years from 1999 to 2014, but every election saw an erosion of the Congress vote base. The 15 year rule of Congress NCP combine witnessed numerous corruption scandals including the irrigation and Adarsh Housing society scams. After 2014 when the BJP-Shiv Sena government came to power in the state, those involved in the cooperative and educational sectors started feeling the heat. Slowly, these leaders moved away from the Congress aligning themselves with the BJP instead to protect their interest. The situation took dire for Congress in both the states. In Haryana it is expected to come a distant second with a 13 percent vote share and in Maharastra it may win just 55 seats way of 145 majority remark
The Congress and NCP are going to do the polls together in this adverse political environment. The emergence of the new BJP under Modi- Amit Shah with its focus on power has increased the electoral woes of the two parties.