BJP, Shiv Sena seal seat-sharing pact ahead of Maharashtra polls

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 26, 2019 Published on September 26, 2019

BJP may contest 144 seats, leaving 126 constituencies for Shiv Sena; Deputy CM post too may go to the latter

Subject to revision at the party’s election committee meeting on September 29, the BJP and Shiv Sena on Thursday reportedly sealed their seat-sharing pact. At a meeting of the BJP’s Maharashtra core group chaired by party President Amit Shah, it was reportedly decided that 144 seats will be contested by the BJP and 126 by the Sena.

The BJP, said sources, has also agreed to give deputy chief minister’s post to the Shiv Sena and the latter reportedly plans to launch Aditya Thackeray.

BJP President Amit Shah along with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other members of the State’s core group, is believed to have finalised the party’s candidates and discussed region-wise strategy for the upcoming Assembly polls.

Besides Amit Shah and Devendra Fadnavis, BJP Working President JP Nadda, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Maharashtra State BJP President Chandrakanta Dada Patil were present at the meeting on Thursday along with other senior leaders.

Tough bargain

Amit Shah had, in the last Assembly polls in 2014, decided to snap ties with the Shiv Sena and the party won as many as 122 seats on its own. The Sena may prefer a 50:50 partnership but is expected to settle in the face of some tough bargaining by Shah.

Besides sharing seats with the Shiv Sena and partners such as the RPI, the BJP also has to accommodate new entrants to the party, including heavyweights from the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party.

Former Maharashtra minister and Congress leader Harshvardhan Patil from Indapur, Pune and NCP’s Navi Mumbai strongman Ganesh Naik, joined the BJP earlier this month. The four-time MLA from Indapur, dealt a severe blow to the Congress by joining the BJP, which may may field him from the same constituency. Fadnavis indicated as much on September 11, the day Patil joined the BJP.

Similarly, Ganesh Naik, too, hopes to be rewarded with a BJP ticket having defected from the NCP with about 50 corporators, which paved the way for the BJP to wrest control of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation.

A decision on all these matters is reported to have been taken at the meetingand may be announced on September 29.

Published on September 26, 2019
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