Maharashtra CM Faces 22 Riot Cases, Crime Accused Pack Assembly

  (Maharashtra BJP president and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis with other party leaders)   *Devendra Fadnavis, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief minister, has 22 charges of rioting registered against him.   * Jitendra Ahwad—the only member of the legislative assembly (MLA) with a doctorate—of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has 15 criminal cases against … Continued

Have Maharashtra Elections Also Finished Independents?

Independent candidates have always been the “fun” part of the Indian elections, and the recently concluded Maharashtra assembly elections were no different. 1,699 independents contested the elections this time as against 1,820 candidates during the 2009 elections.   While 24 independents were successful last time (i.e. a success ratio of 8% when compared with the … Continued

Maharashtra’s Time Of Promises—And More Promises

  Monorails. Free wifi. Ambulances. New universities. Free medicines. More electricity. Junking heritage laws.   The sweep of promises is wide and varied in Maharashtra as more than83 million voters get set to cast their vote tomorrow for a new 288-member legislative assembly.   Opinion polls predict there may not be a fractured mandate. Is … Continued

Poor, Struggling Vidarbha Is Up For Grabs

  “As long as I am sitting in Delhi, I assure you that no power can divide Maharashtra. Some people are spreading rumors that BJP will sever Mumbai from Maharashtra. It’s a lie. Maharashtra is incomplete without Mumbai.”   This is what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said recently during an election rally, an affirmation that … Continued

Maharashtra: A Political, Cultural Fragmentation Looms

    The most intriguing question in political sociology is: How does an individual voter make a decision as to whom to vote. Hundreds and thousands of research papers, field commentaries by reporters and hypothetical analysis by commentators have been published so far, without any convincing and universally applicable conclusion.   What is also not … Continued

Maharashtra: Best Chance For Independents?

    With an unprecedented 5-pronged contest coming up, independent candidates may have their best chance of winning in the Maharashtra assembly elections scheduled for October 15.   An IndiaSpend study of the 2009 assembly polls showed there were 21 constituencies with low victory margins. We have categorised these constituencies according to victory margins: eight … Continued

What Message Will Work In Fractious Maharashtra?

(An advertisement released by the Congress party on the eve of assembly elections in Maharashtra)   Housing. Education. Jobs. These are the three main issues that Maharashtra’s ruling Congress party is focussing on as India’s second-most populous and richest state prepares for elections to a new legislative assembly on October 15.   Farmers are also being … Continued

Look Carefully Where India’s Young Voters Are

  Did India’s first-time voters really deliver in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections?   The answer is no but there is another angle for the new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider: states with relatively low development (defined below) also have a high proportion of young voters. This is … Continued