Maharashtra Elections 2019: Shiv Sena May Agree On 135 Seats, Wants BJP To Adjust Allies
Amit Shah greets Uddhav Thackeray after announcement of an alliance between Shiv Sena and BJP, in Mumbai, on Feb. 18, 2019. (Photograph: PTI)

Maharashtra Elections 2019: Shiv Sena May Agree On 135 Seats, Wants BJP To Adjust Allies

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Shiv Sena may agree to contest 135 of the total 288 seats in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party for the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections but wants the BJP to accommodate smaller allies, a senior party leader said Tuesday.

Shiv Sena was reportedly adamant on contesting 144 seats and has also demanded a revolving chief ministership in the event of the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance returning to power after Maharashtra elections in October this year.

Though a formal seat-sharing deal between the saffron allies is yet to be finalised, political circles are abuzz with various combinations.

"The BJP and the Shiv Sena may accept a formula to contest 135 seats each and leave 18 seats for smaller allies like the RPI (A), the Rashtriya Samaj Paksh and the Shiv Sangram Party," a senior Shiv Sena leader said on Tuesday.

The Shiv Sena also wants the BJP to allot 18 seats to smaller allies from its own quota, saying they are partners of the BJP. If the BJP were to accommodate this demand, the party will get to contest 117 seats.

"The Shiv Sena may accept allotment of 18 seats for BJP allies as part of an electoral adjustment. Let the BJP give 18 seats to the smaller allies from their quota," the Shiv Sena leader cited above said.

Complicating the matters for the BJP, Republican Party of India (Athawale)‘s leader, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale, RSP leader and state minister Mahadev Jankar and Vinayak Mete of the Shiv Sangram Party have refused to accept the party's demand to contest the Maharashtra elections on BJP tickets.

According to reports, the BJP is demanding more than 135 seats to accommodate leaders from opposition parties and its "growing political might".

The seat-sharing formula of 135 seats each was first mooted by Maharasthra BJP unit President Chandrakant Patil a few months ago. But the Shiv Sena claims that the BJP President Amit Shah and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had struck an understanding with party chief Uddhav Thackeray agreeing to the Shiv Sena's demand for 144 seats and the chief minister's post for a period of two-and-a-half years in the five-year term.

On Saturday, Thackeray, alongwith Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Fadnavis announced that the saffron alliance for Maharashtra elections was "inevitable".

In the 2014 Maharashtra elections, which the saffron allies contested separately, the BJP won 122 seats and the Shiv Sena 63. Maharashtra Elections 2019 are slated to be held in October.

Also read: Formal Announcement On BJP-Shiv Sena Poll Alliance In Two Days, Says Uddhav Thackeray

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