BJP Takes 25 LS Seats in Maha, Shiv Sena Gets 23 in Pre-Poll Deal
After months of negotiations and uncertainty, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena announced their alliance in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls from Maharashtra on Monday, 18 February.
For the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the BJP will contest from 25 seats out of 48 seats in the state while the Shiv Sena will contest from 23.
For the state elections slated to happen later this year, the two parties will hold discussions with their other allies. Leaving the numbers of seats taken by the NDA allies in the state, BJP and Shiv Sena will fight an equal number of seats for the state elections.
The announcement was made by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in the presence of BJP President Amit Shah and Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray.
BJP President Amit Shah had met Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray at his residence Matoshree on Monday, to discuss the final seat-sharing arrangement between the two parties. The meeting was followed by a joint press conference where details of the alliance were announced.
“People are seeing Shiv Sena and BJP for past 30 years. For 25 years, we stood united. There was confusion for the past five years. But like CM (Fadnavis) said, I still provided guidance to government from time to time,” Thackeray said.
“State Assembly elections are also in four months, seats are divided equally for it. Responsibilities will also be divided in half,”he added.
‘We Have Buried the Differences’
Expressing happiness about the alliance, Shah said that it will bag at least 45 out of 48 seats in the state.
“The Shiv Sena and Akali Dal are the BJP’s oldest allies and have been with the BJP in good and bad times. We have buried all differences in this moment and decided to join hands. I am happy about that,” he said.
Sources say the bone of contention between the BJP and Shiv Sena now seems to lie in deciding on the chief ministerial candidate if the duo return to power in the Assembly polls. While Shiv Sena has been demanding that the next chief minister of Maharashtra be appointed from its party, the BJP has reportedly been pushing for an arrangement wherein the five years be divided between two chief ministers from both parties.
Athawale to Meet Fadnavis, Thackeray
Union Minister and RPI(A) chief Ramdas Athawale, expressed displeasure that there was no deliberation upon seat distribution to his party in Maharashtra.
“I believe if BJP, Shiv Sena and RPI(A) come together in Maharashtra, we can win 43-44 seats. But there has been no deliberation upon seat distribution to RPI(A). It might create unhappiness among Dalit community. I had asked for one seat,” said Athawale.
He said that he will be meeting Fadnavis and Thackeray to discuss the same.
“If we don't get even 1 seat, votes of Dalits in Maharashtra for BJP-Shiv Sena will be affected. If they want to come back to power in state and if NDA wants to come back at Centre, RPI(A) will contribute. So we should be given a seat,” Athawale.