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Congress slips to fourth place in Maharashtra

In the outgoing assembly, it was the main opposition party but current trends indicate that the Nationalist Congress Party, its ally, will now take that mantle.

The Congress, which has been the main opposition party in the state for the past five years, has slipped to the fourth position in Maharashtra with a lead in just 35 seats. The absence of coordination among leaders, the lack of a face at the state level, and the party’s hollowing out nationally, have all contributed to the 134-year-old party’s poor performance, according to analysts.

In the outgoing assembly, it was the main opposition party but current trends indicate that the Nationalist Congress Party, its ally, will now take that mantle.

While the NCP is leading in 52 seats, despite a near-exodus of leaders from its party to the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress looks set to do worse than it did in 2014 when it won 42 seats in the 288-member assembly. The NCP won 41 then.

“It is true that we could have done better at least in Vidarbha and Western Maharashtra, but we failed to galvanise people. Our central leaders hardly participated in the campaign and the state leaders had to concentrate on their respective constituencies. We also lacked a face, which could have charged up cadre at the ground level,” said a Congress leader who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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