The ruling alliance partners BJP and Shiv Sena released their first list of candidates for the state assembly polls on Tuesday. Both parties have declared their candidates without official announcement. This indicates that both parties are trapped in the tug of war over seat allotment between two alliance partners. Although BJP and Shiv Sena have decided to forge coalition in assembly elections but they could not decide on seat distribution. It is learnt that Sena is bargaining for two more assembly seats. Suspense still hovers over seat sharing. That is why both BJP and Shiv Sena have released their lists without announcing seat sharing.
It is remarkable that BJP has released a list of 125 candidates for assembly polls while Shiv Sena has released its list of 70 candidates. Just after BJP’s first list, Sena also released a list of 124 assembly constituencies but only 70 candidates. The BJP also announced its candidate for Satara Lok Sabha bypoll. Udayanraje Bhosale will be party’s candidate for this bypoll. He has recently joined the BJP after resigning from NCP. On Monday, Maharashtra BJP President Chandrakant Patil told media that BJP-Sena have decided to forge alliance. He said that CM Devendra Fadnavis and Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray will soon jointly announce details of seat sharing. But there is no announcement by them until now and they have released their lists of candidates. Maharashtra will go to polls on October 21 and results will be declared on October 24. BJP surrenders 15 seats to Sena.
On the other hand, many Shiv Sena workers and leaders of Navi Mumbai have allegedly resigned from the party in protest of seat sharing. It is very difficult for a Shiv Sainik to support and campaign for their arch rival Ganesh Naik and his family in Navi Mumbai who joined the BJP just ahead of declaration of Maharashtra assembly polls. The ruling party has fielded Sandip Naik, who is son of Ganesh Naik from Airoli. Therefore, Navi Mumbai Shiv Sena’s city chief and district vice president and over 200 workers have submitted their resignation in protest of party’s decision to offer this seat to the BJP. Former Congress minister Abdul Sattar had joined Shiv Sena and was nominated from Sillod constituency of Aurangabad. Since BJP used to contest from Sillod constituency and vacated it for Shiv Sena, BJP party workers became angry and they tendered their resignation.
BJP and Shiv Sena have decided to go in alliance this time in Maharashtra. In the 2014 elections both parties had fought elections separately. Under seat sharing agreement, Airoli assembly seat of Navi Mumbai falls in court of the BJP. Traditionally, Shiv Sena used to fight with NCP’s former strongman Ganesh Naik here. Now, it is very difficult for them to digest this grim reality. On Monday, BJP and Shiv Sena finalised seat-sharing deal for Maharashtra assembly elections. But the BJP has not agreed on deputy Chief Minister’s post for Shiv Sena. They will take decision on this after assembly elections.