Book analyses 2019 Maharashtra assembly polls

New Delhi, May 17 (PTI) A new book takes a look at the 2019 Maharashtra assembly elections and the subsequent high-voltage drama that culminated in Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray becoming the state's 18th chief minister.

'Checkmate: How the BJP Won and Lost Maharashtra' takes readers through the twists and turns of the dramatic political crisis that unfolded as Maharashtra waited for a chief minister.

With inside sources and private conversations, the book reveals the hitherto untold story of this political drama, with a comprehensive overview of the state's politics in the last few decades.

The book is written by journalist Sudhir Suryanwanshi and published by Penguin Random House India.

Thackeray took oath as chief minister on November 28, 2019, nearly a month after the results of the assembly elections were declared.

The Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress stitched an unlikely alliance and formed the government after the Sena fell out with pre-poll ally BJP over sharing the chief ministerial post. The BJP had emerged as the single largest party winning 105 seats, followed by the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress with 56, 54 and 44 seats respectively.

Thackeray's swearing-in came after days of dramatic political developments, which included a three-day government formed by BJP's Devendra Fadnavis with unexpected support from NCP leader Ajit Pawar, who has since returned to the Sharad Pawar-led party fold.

Around that time, a Twitter handle run by Suryanwanshi began to break stories day after day, offering precise updates and even predictions on Maharashtra politics.

'No one believed the news at the time. Many NCP leaders also called and told me that this was false but I stood firm on my reporting and it turned out to be true. I believe in my sources,' said Suryawanshi. PTI ZMN RDS RDS