After days of deliberating, arguing, fighting and speculating, the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have decided to stick to their old seat-sharing formula in the state for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The allies concluded the talks late on Thursday, deciding the BJP would contest 26 and the Shiv Sena 22 seats, and
announced it in the afternoon on Friday.
Senior Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai and BJP leader Vinod Tawde jointly read out the list of seats each party would contest at the Sena Bhawan.
The allies had earlier had trouble agreeing on the Kalyan and Yavatmal-Washim seats, both of which will now be fought by the Shiv Sena.
The Shiv Sena also wanted Bhiwandi and Jalgaon, but the BJP insisted on keeping the two seats.
Outside Sena Bhavan, hundreds of Shiv Sena leaders from Bhiwandi gathered to oppose the loss of the seat.
“All local government bodies are being governed by the Sena and our party can easily win the seat,” said local Sena leader Vishwas Phale.
The BJP handed over the Mumbai South seat, which it lost to the Congress in 2004, to the Shiv Sena.
The Shiv Sena has an advantage in Mumbai South since a large chunk of Marathi-speaking voters, whose cause the party champions, have become part of the constituency from areas such as Byculla, Sewri and Worli.
Requesting anonymity because they lacked party authorisation to pass on information to the media, those in the know in the Shiv Sena said the plan was to field member of Parliament Mohan Rawale from the seat.
Last time Mohan Rawale had won from Mumbai South Central.
Other aspirants are Vishakha Raut and Shubha Raul for the Mumbai South Central and the Mumbai North West seats.
Mumbai South Central now includes areas such as Mahim, Wadala and Prabhadevi, all Shiv Sena strongholds.
Mumbai North West now includes Shiv Sena areas such as Goregaon and Dindoshi.
Party leader Manohar Joshi, who contested from Mumbai North Central and lost the last time, is now likely to contest either
from Kalyan or Raigad.
The party will also contest from Yavatmal-Washim and the newly created Maval constituency.
The BJP, which will contest the Mumbai North Central seat this time, has short-listed the names of possible candidates.
The probable candidates include Jaiprakash Thakur and corporator Ashish Shelar.