BJP will win fewer seats in 2019 election than 2014: Ramdas Athawale
Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Monday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will win fewer seats in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh than what it had secured in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. The popular Dalit leader from Maharashtra said that BJP could lose 10-15 seats in Uttar Pradesh due to the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance. It may be recalled that in 2014, BJP and its allies Apna Dal had won 73 out of 80 seats at stake in Uttar Pradesh with the SP, BSP and RLD fighting separately. But the three parties joined hands before the Lok Sabha election 2019 and are hop[eful of making a dent in the BJP seat tally,

Athawale also predicted that the BJP is on course to lose 5-6 seats which it had won in 2014 Lok Sabha poll in Maharashtra. In 2014, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance had performed very well in Maharashtra, winning 42 out of 48 seats in the state. Athawale, however, noted that in 2014, Raju Shetty of Swabhimaani Shetkari Sanghata was with the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance but this time he is supporting Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance. Athawale said that the BJP will make up for the losses in these two states by winning a number of seats in West Bengal and Odisha propelling Narendra Modi to the prime minister's post once again. West Bengal and Odisha have 42 and 21 Lok Sabha seats respectively.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena is unwilling to speak anything on the number of seats which the BJP is expected to win in this Lok Sabha election. Talking to Zee Media, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that BJP-led NDA will get a clear majority. Raut's statement is also a signal that the Shiv Sena is hoping that the BJP will fail to get a majority of its own and will need the help of its allies in forming the next government.

Earlier, senior BJP leader Ram Madhav had also hinted that the BJP may not touch the majority mark on its own in this election. But the BJP is not taking Athawale's assessment seriously. Maharashtra BJP leader Keshav Upadhaya said that the BJP will perform well in this election and the party will win more seats than it had in 2014.