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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

BJP may fight more seats than Sena in Maharashtra

It is learnt from senior party leaders that the Sena may get 126 seats, while the BJP and smaller allies may be given 162, though a final call on this will be taken in a few days.

assembly-elections Updated: Sep 27, 2019 03:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Mumbai
The BJP is keen on reaching the clear majority in the 288-member House on its own
The BJP is keen on reaching the clear majority in the 288-member House on its own(HT Photo)
         

Ahead of the Maharashtra assembly polls scheduled for October 21, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah on Thursday held a marathon meeting with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and other senior party leaders from the state, in Delhi to finalise its
election strategy, including a seat-sharing deal with the Shiv Sena.

It is learnt from senior party leaders that the Sena may get 126 seats, while the BJP and smaller allies may be given 162, though a final call on this will be taken in a few days.

“The party president discussed each of the seats and shortlisted candidate with us, the core committee. That’s why it took so long [almost nine hours]. Majority of the candidates have been finalised. In 20% of the seats we had more than one aspirant and this was thrashed out. There will be change in 10-15% of our candidates, “ said a senior state BJP leader requesting anonymity.

He added that Fadnavis held a separate meeting with Shah to discuss the possible seat sharing formula with Shiv Sena.

The alliance is unlikely to be finalised before September 28, according to BJP leaders. The BJP is keen on reaching the clear majority in the 288-member House on its own and as such wants to contest maximum number of seats possible after adjusting seats with Sena.

After playing the role of junior partner in earlier elections, the BJP broke its alliance with the Sena in 2014 after they could not arrive at an amicable division of seats.

However, the BJP got its highest ever tally of 122 seats, riding on the “Modi wave”, following which the Sena, which won 63 seats, allied with the BJP after the poll verdict.

With the BJP’s clout growing, the Sena blew hot and cold about its alliance and decided that it will not tie up with its partner for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

However, Shah reached out to Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray before the general elections to clinch an alliance, after which it was announced that both parties had decided to contest an equal number of seats in the assembly polls.

(With inputs from agencies )