Over the last few weeks, rumours of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) tying up with the Bharatiya Janata Party have been brewing, but the NCP has continued to shoot down such ideas claiming they are strongly tied up with the Congress and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA). However after the massive rout of the NCP the party may have to take a re-look at this decision if it plans to stay relevant over the next 5 years in the politics of Maharashtra.
Days after senior leader Praful Patel's remark stating the country needed a "stable" government resulted in massive speculation of a BJP-NCP pact in the state. A day later the party's chief spokesperson DP Tripathi in a quote to PTI claimed, "We are with UPA and will remain with UPA. If there is an NDA government headed by Narendra Modi, we will sit in the opposition."
At the time, Praful Patel had said "The question is how close they are able to come to the halfway mark or if they want any ally, all this will become clear on May 16. But the government should be stable. A stable and good government is good for the country.”
Today after the results for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections were finally declared, it is clear the NCP Congress alliance is rather weak and that the Narendra Modi led BJP clearly needs no alliances. In Maharashtra the NCP’s top leaders, including Praful Patel have lost their seats, seats considered strong bases for the NCP. The BJP has even gone so far as to demand the resignation of Prithviraj Chauhan who is leading the coalition government in the state. Narayan Rane resigned soon after the results were announced. Clearly the state of the Congress-NCP relations in Maharashtra are in a mess and a churn is near.
The BJP has achieved a simple majority in the Lok Sabha, an achievement no national party has achieved in over 20 years. But this may not be the case when it comes to the Maharashtra state assembly elections due later in October of 2014.
While some believe that the electorate tends to vote differently during assembly elections, that may not hold true, now that its clear there is a Narendra Modi wave across the country and after 15 years of running the state assembly the NCP may realise its best shot at winning the state assembly elections would be if they tied up with the BJP.
But there is a strong belief among political circles that the Shiv Sena may not allow for a tie up between the two parties due to the ideological differences between the two. Not to mention the number of Shiv Sena leaders who have jumped party lines and moved over to the NCP, most recently being Rahul Narvekar.
In politics nothing is impossible and while for now the NCP may strongly deny such rumours, there is never any smoke without a fire.