New Delhi: As Maharashtra goes to polls next month, the key stakeholders in the multi-cornered Assembly election would be eyeing a strong performance in the Golden Triangle zone of the state, which may come to have a crucial bearing on who forms the government there.
The Golden Triangle, which comprises Mumbai and its metropolitan region along with Pune and Nashik, is known as such because of the economic prosperity which it enjoys.
Spread across five districts and 14 parliamentary constituencies and covering three major cities and satellite townships and with the highest concentration of 77 Assembly seats, the Golden Triangle region is one of the most developed and urbanized areas in the state as well as the country.
Almost 90 per cent of the Assembly seats are highly urbanized and 63 of these lie in Mumbai and its metropolitan region.
The triangle is strategically located, stretching from Mumbai and its Metropolitan Region, which falls in the Konkan belt, to Nashik in northern Maharashtra and from there to Pune and its metropolitan region in the western part of the state.
While Mumbai is the business capital of the country, Pune is a fast-growing Metro, thanks to its booming IT sector. Nashik is one of the most rapidly growing cities in the state and enjoys good connectivity with both Mumbai and Pune.
In the 2009 Assembly elections, the Congress-NCP alliance won 33 of the 77 seats within the Golden Triangle while the BJP-Sena combine emerged on top in 24 segments. Congress won 23 seats followed by Shiv Sena with 13. NCP, the then junior alliance partner of UPA, won 10 seats in the region while BJP and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena bagged 11 segments.
But with a five-cornered contest on the cards this time around, it will be an uphill task for both Congress and Shiv Sena to maintain their positions.
Mumbai and its suburbs have 36 seats which were dominated by Congress in the last Assembly polls as it clinched 18 of these with NCP managing two seats. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena won six seats in the city followed by BJP with 5.