Maharashtra alliance is on, announces BJP-Shiv Sena; seat sharing talks on
The Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena on Monday announced that the two parties will contest next month’s Maharashtra state elections as an alliance but did not disclose the seat-sharing formula.
The two parties issued a Press release signed by state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil and senior Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai to make the announcement. It said the BJP, Shiv Sena, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale’s Republican Party of India (A), Mahadev Jankar-led Rashtriya Samaj Paksh and Vinayak Mete-led Shiv Sangram will contest the October assembly elections in an alliance.
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The two parties also said that the details of seat-sharing would be declared soon. The joint Press statement to confirm the alliance is unusual particularly against the backdrop of reports that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray would make the announcement.BJP and Sena leaders said it was decided to go ahead with the statement to prevent a rebellion as both the parties have a significant number of aspirants since they were earlier preparing to contest all 288 seats in Maharashtra. Besides, the two parties have inducted more than 20 legislators and leaders from the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party who would have to be accommodated during the ticket distribution process.
There is already a risk that aspirants from the two ruling parties could join the Congress or NCP if they go not get the party ticket. For instance, when the sitting NCP MLA Pandurang Barora joined the Shiv Sena in Thane district’s Shahpur seat, the Sena’s ex-MLA Daulat Daroda from the seat switched over to the NCP in the hope that his new party would be able to give him a party ticket.
“We have finalised a seat-sharing formula that is agreeable to both parties. A formal announcement will be made by the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in the next few hours,” said Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil.When asked whether Sena had been offered the Deputy Chief Minister’s post as part of the alliance agreement, Patil refuted it. “Nothing like this has been discussed or offered. Elections have not happened so far the results are not out, how can this be discussed,” he said.