The Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena are soon likely to finalise an electoral alliance for the ensuing Assembly elections in Maharashtra.
The BJP is likely to contest approximately 160 seats while allotting 120 for the Shiv Sena 120, sources in the BJP claimed.
The remaining eight seats have been kept for small and regional NDA allies, a senior party leader said.
A formal announcement of the alliance was stuck as the Shiv Sena was demanding half of the seats in the total 288 seats.
The proposed seat-sharing arrangement is somewhat similar to the Lok Sabha polls fought by the two allies earlier this year when BJP had fielded contestants on 25 seats while the Shiv Sena contested on 23. However, Shiv Sena is said to be still trying to exert pressure on the BJP for more seats.
“It’s a 30-year-old alliance, the only exception was 2014 assembly elections. But we formed the government afterwards. We got 122 seats plus one whereas Shiv Sena got 63 seats. Now these seats are most likely to go to the respective winners and the division would be on the rest of the seats,” said Sanjay Dhotre, Unoln Minister of State for Human Resource Development, who belongs to BJP.
While commenting on Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, who maintained that Shiv Sena and BJP would contest an equal number of seats, Dhotre said, “Everyone wants to stgrengthen their party. The more seats they get, the more are the chances of winning them. They are trying to maintain pressure. If you see the ground reality, BJP has an upper hand. “
“We hope that the alliance would enable us to secure two-thirds majority in the Assembly and ensure that the opponents are wiped out,” sources added.
It is learnt the seat-sharing arrangement has come to a stage of fruition after details were worked out between BJP chief Amit Shah and Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackrey.
“No more meeting will take place regarding seat sharing. If there is any change in numbers. It will be worked out at the topmost level,” added a senior BJP leader.
The two parties had fought the last Assembly polls in 2014 separately even though they were partners in the Central government. The two parties had earlier this year contested the Lok Sabha polls as allies and had swept the state securing 41 out of the 48 Lok Sabha seats.
Just like the Lok Sabha polls, the NDA alliance is banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the main vote catcher, while the perceived clean image of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is said to be an additional factor.
The Assembly polls scheduled are likely to be announced soon by the Election Commission of India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in the state today to address the concluding part of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis ‘Mahajanadesh yatra’. (ANI)