Disorder has become the order of the day in poll-bound Maharashtra. Rival sides are embroiled in the tricky business of seat sharing with the announcement of the Lok Sabha poll schedule expected any moment.

Boasting that it has come out with the first list of 195 candidates nationally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) faces an unenviable moment in Maharashtra.

The world’s largest party is the backbone of the ruling front in the state but is hamstrung without its two quarrelling allies. On the one hand, it cannot do without the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), but on the other, it does not consider them as equal partners.

The brand of the main Opposition Congress might be relevant nationally, but in Maharashtra, it cannot take on the BJP without the strong backing of Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar-led parties. In letter and spirit.

The biggest drawback of the grand old party in the premier state is that it lacks a leader. Another handicap is that since the party lost power in the state a decade back, the high command is neglecting the state unit.

It is one of the wonders of the political world that the Congress is more than alive due to its deep roots, despite the apathy and negligence.

Interestingly, even Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah know this tenacity of the Congress and that is why it is taking away big and small leaders like Ashok Chavan and Milind Deora. Mostly thanks to the BJP’s ‘Election Department (ED)’.

In ticket distribution, the BJP wants to have the cake and eat it too. Reports suggest that the BJP does not want to leave more than 18 of the total 48 Lok Sabha seats to the Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde) and the NCP (Ajit Pawar) combine. It may give 12 to Shinde Sena and four to six to Pawar.

If the maverick Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena joins the ruling alliance, then the talk is that one or two seats of the Shinde Sena will be given to him.

After declaring it wants to win 400 of the 543 seats nationally, the BJP wants to be frugal with friends in ticket distribution, whether it is in Uttar Pradesh or in Maharashtra. Of the total 48 seats in Maharashtra, BJP wants to contest 31 to 32 seats. This is sending out a clear message that allies are the junior players in the state, and cannot survive without the help and benevolence of the BJP.

Ajit Pawar is known as Ajitdada in the power circles in Maharashtra. But he lacks an appeal and following in Mumbai, Vidarbha, Marathwada and Konkan regions in the state.

On the other hand, Eknath Shinde lacks the charisma of the Thackeray family. The BJP's internal surveys and feedback of the ground situation say its allies would not help in getting the numbers in the polls.

Besides, the saffron party does not want Shinde and Pawar to be stronger politically as this would create hurdles in its expansion in Maharashtra.

Strangely, Shinde and Pawar are both assets as well as liabilities for the BJP. Both come with baggage of a different kind and both are ambitious. They are not the erstwhile Hukum Singh of Haryana who as Chief Minister used to proclaim that he was the ‘dummy’ of Om Prakash Chautala.

Pawar has been saying openly that he wants to become the Chief Minister of this premier state. Shinde too wants to become the leader of the dominant Marathas.

The Lok Sabha elections will also see whether the BJP's votes could be transferred to its allies and vice-versa.

The opposition front under the banner of Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) has tall leaders like Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar but split in their parties and shrinking the support base of the Opposition, is making the electoral battle complex. One good thing for the Aghadi is that there is a good rapport between Thackeray, Pawar and Rahul Gandhi.

Once, Maratha, Dalit and Minorities used to be the Congress's winning combination in Maharashtra but Marathas are now split between the four parties: Congress, BJP, NCP and Shiv Sena. Dalits are divided between Buddhists and non-Buddhists. The agitation on the Maratha reservation has sharpened the rift between Marathas and the OBCS.

The complex political situation in the state is delaying the announcement of candidates by the main parties. Prakash Ambedkar's Bahujan Vanchit Aghadi putting conditions on the MVA and asking for more number of seats is helping the BJP indirectly.

The Congress's defeat in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh Assembly elections has also affected the morale of its workers in Maharashtra.

The BJP knows well that it cannot win the elections merely in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is seen as pro Gujrati in Maharashtra. Therefore, the Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra will not be influenced by a single issue such as Ayodhya, Maratha reservation, unemployment, price rise.

The coming Lok Sabha polls are bound to be different for Maharashtra. Therefore even the biggest of political pundits are keeping their fingers crossed before predicting what is in store.