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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Amit Shah meets Uddhav Thackeray, may finalise BJP-Sena seat-sharing deal

The development comes as the Sena has been openly critical of the BJP leadership and its policies over the last couple of years. The two allies had even directed party cadre to prepare to contest the elections solo.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2019 18:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
After nearly a month-long informal talks over the alliance, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had met Thackeray last Thursday for a face to face poll negotiations.
After nearly a month-long informal talks over the alliance, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had met Thackeray last Thursday for a face to face poll negotiations.(PTI File Photo)
         

BJP president Amit Shah is holding a meeting with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at his residence Matoshree in Mumbai on Monday evening.

Senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut said Amit Shah and Uddhav Thackeray will announce the alliance for the Lok Sabha and assembly elections in a joint press conference at 6:30pm.

The development comes as the Sena has been openly critical of the BJP leadership and its policies over the last couple of years. The two allies had even directed party cadre to prepare to contest the elections solo.

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After a nearly a month-long informal talks over the alliance, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had met Thackeray last Thursday for a face to face poll negotiations.

The Hindustan Times had reported that the Sena has sought 50-50 seat sharing for the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra and in the 288-member state assembly election slated to be held later in the year. The party also wants to split the chief minister’s post and tenure between them if they win in the assembly polls.

This is said to be a sticking point in clinching the deal.

In the previous Lok Sabha election in 2014, the BJP had contested 24 Lok Sabha seats and the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena 20. Four seats went to other allies, the Swabhimani Paksha of Raju Shetty, the Republican Party of India of Ram Das Athawale and the Rashtriya Samaj Paksha of Mahadev Jankar. There are 48 Lok Sabha seats in the western state.

The alliance fell apart in the assembly election in 2014 over seat sharing negotiations after the BJP refused to concede 151 seats to the Sena. They fought separately and the BJP fielded candidates in 260 out of 288 assembly seats; the Sena contested 282 seats. The former won 122 and the latter 63.

They came together after the election to form the government in Maharashtra, but the relationship has remained strained.

Also Read | Shiv Sena eyes hard bargain as talks with BJP begin

The parties contested separately in the subsequent local body elections and the BJP dominated the local polls, winning 15 out of the 27 big city corporations in the state. The Sena retained control of Mumbai but managed to win just two more seats than the BJP in the city.

The assembly election is supposed to be held six months after the Lok Sabha polls this summer.

The Sena in a bid to justify its climb down has also sought some administrative decisions by the ruling government over farmers welfare.

A BJP senior leader had told HT that the party is willing to concede equal seat sharing in the assembly polls and near equal in Lok Sabha (23:25) election during this summer. He said the Bharatiya Janata Party would also grant the Palghar Lok Sabha seat that Sena had demanded which was as in the BJP quota.

However, the BJP is not willing to split the CM’s post.

The final seat and power-sharing formula may be decided upon in the meeting on Monday.

“We have placed our demands before them, now it is up to them. Both leaders are expected to meet today and discuss further and announce it,” a Sena functionary said.

First Published: Feb 18, 2019 14:28 IST

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