As per confident sources, the ruling BJP and Shiv Sena may contest the Maharashtra Assembly polls separately. The BJP does not intend to give Shiv Sena more than 100 seats for 288-member Assembly. That is why the BJP is continuously avoiding Shiv Sena’s proposal for the meeting on seat sharing for the upcoming elections. In 2014, both parties had fought the Assembly elections separately and later on, formed post-poll alliance to run the government in the state.
BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said, “Media is issuing statements pertaining to seat distribution between BJP and Shiv Sena. The chief minister and senior leaders will take a final decision in this regard. We have already announced that Shiv Sena will form an alliance with BJP for contesting the Assembly polls.”
Both parties have inducted Many senior Congress and NCP leaders in past one month. So, this leads to speculations that both parties may part their ways like in 2014. Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray has made it clear on August 28 that there is no change in the seat-sharing formula worked out with the BJP for the state Assembly elections. He said that the announcement of alliance between the BJP and Shiv Sena was made ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said, “All these issues are related with questions pertaining to if and but. Uddhav Thackeray will take a decision about seat sharing issues.”
On the other hand, Maharashtra BJP President and Minister of Revenue and Public works Chandrakant Patil said last week that a seat-sharing agreement between BJP and Shiv Sena will have to be worked out for the Assembly elections. He said that the current situation leaves very few seats for new entrants.
According to Shiv Sena sources, before the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP was ready to contest the state Assembly elections on 50-50 per cent seat sharing formula. But now, they are not responding to their proposal regarding meeting on seat sharing. The Shiv Sena has sent such proposal thrice in past one month.
BJP sources said that the party is planning to offer maximum 100 seats to the Shiv Sena. They said that they will offer less than 100 seats in the beginning. It is remarkable that the BJP’s new approach came to the fore following several surveys conducted after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, which claim that the BJP is getting majority of its own in Maharashtra Assembly elections. They said, “There is no question of giving 50 per cent seats to the Sena as the party has to accommodate many heavy-weight leaders of the NCP-Congress who have joined the BJP. Top leadership of the party has instructed the state unit to prepare to contest elections on all seats.”