BJP, Sena seal 150-124 Maharashtra seat-sharing pact
Smaller allies, including the RPI and the RSP are going to contest on 14 seats.Updated: Oct 05, 2019, 05:40 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will contest 150 seats and its partner Shiv Sena will field candidates in 124 constituencies for the upcoming Maharashtra assembly polls, scheduled for October 21, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis announced in Mumbai on Friday.
The saffron party has left 14 seats for smaller allies including, Union minister Ramdas Athawale’s Republican Party of India, Mahadev Jankar-led Rashtriya Samaj Paksha and Vinayak Mete-led Shiv Sangram
The Sena, which was pressing for at least 135 seats, has now settled for 124 seats, and two seats in the Maharashtra Legislative Council from the BJP quota.
The alliance between the BJP-Sena and other smaller parties was announced on September 30. On Friday, chief minister Fadnavis flanked by Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray announced the seat-sharing formula.
“The BJP’s allies will contest 14 seats, the Shiv Sena will contest 124 seats, plus two seats (in legislative council) and the remaining seats (150) will be contested by us. This is the formula,” the CM said, adding that despite differences between the allies, a common thread of “Hindutva” held them together.
After the Sena had to play a secondary role, Thackeray said that “big brother” tag should not be seen now. “Instead of the big brother-smaller brother debate, one should look at the relationship of the brothers that has remained intact. We will work together,” he said.
Fadnavis, meanwhile, remained silent on the power-sharing. Asked if the Sena will get the chief minister or deputy chief minister’s post, he deflected and said: “Why are you in such a hurry?” He added that Thackeray scion Aaditya, who is contesting his first election from Worli, will win with the biggest margin in Mumbai. The two parties are facing rebellion and many who thought they would get ticket from their parties have filed nomination papers as independent candidates. The Sena’s Rajul Patel has filed her nomination from Versova after the seat went to BJP. Sitting legislator Trupti Sawant also filed her nomination on Friday after Mumbai mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar was given ticket by the Sena.
In Konkan region’s Kankavli, Nitesh Rane, former Congress MLA and son of former chief minister Narayan Rane, filed nomination papers as a BJP candidate. Vowing to oppose the nomination, Arun Dudhwadkar, Sena sampark pramukh [spokesperson] of the region said Satish Sawant has filed his nomination against Rane.
Both Fadnavis and Thackeray were confident that the parties will successfully quell the rebellion. “We are confident that there will be no rebellion. In two days, we will get the ones who have rebelled to withdraw their nomination papers...,” the CM said.
Thackeray later said, “Such things keep happening during elections. We are on it and it will be handled.”