BJP Banking on Fortress Gujarat but Faces Challenge in Maharashtra

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Executive Summary

The two western Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra together account for 74 out of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament).

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept all 26 Gujarat Lok Sabha seats in 2014. In 2019, Gujarat, the home ground of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP President, Amit Shah, remains a major prestige battle. The Congress is counting on making inroads into the state after doing well in the assembly elections in December 2017 but the BJP seems to have recovered some ground here since then. Maharashtra, with 48 Lok Sabha seats, sends the second-highest contingent of members of parliament to the Lok Sabha after Uttar Pradesh (UP). Like in UP, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance is facing a tough battle in Maharashtra with a renewed Nationalist Congress Party leading the United Progressive Alliance’s charge. It has emerged as a major battleground in 2019 whose result could be decisive for government formation in Delhi. This paper summarises the political outlook in both these western Indian states and examines the key factors at play

By Nalin Mehta in INSTITUTE OF SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES (ISAS) - May 21, 2019

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