Shiv Sena-BJP Alliance Announcement In Two Days, Says Uddhav Thackeray
Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party will contest the next month's Maharashtra Assembly elections jointly and an announcement on the seat-sharing formula will be made in the next two days, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said on Friday.
Talking to reporters after a meeting with senior party leaders ahead of the elections slated next month, Thackeray said the "formula" was decided during the Lok Sabha elections, where the two parties had a pre-poll alliance.
"It was media which spread reports that both the parties will contest 135 seats each," Thackeray said.
Ahead of the meeting, Sena secretary Anil Desai had said the alliance would be announced on or before BJP chief Amit Shah's Mumbai visit on Sept. 22.
On reports that the Sena will contest 126 seats and the BJP 162 of the total 288 seats in the Assembly, Desai had declined to comment on the figures, adding the seat-sharing will be as decided by Thackeray and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Diwakar Raote, senior Shiv Sena leader and minister in Maharashtra government had recently said the alliance will break if the Sena doesn't get to contest 50 percent of the seats.
A few days later Sena leader Sanjay Raut had said, "BJP will have to respect the 50-50 formula that was decided in presence of Shah and Fadnavis."
BJP and Shiv Sena contested 2014 state Assembly elections separately after they failed to arrive at a seat-sharing formula.
After the BJP formed the government in October 2014, the Sena joined the ministry the same year.