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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

Maharashtra polls announced, Sena-BJP yet to seal pact

As of now, the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena combine seems to have an edge over the Opposition Congress-Nationalist Congress Party.

india Updated: Sep 21, 2019 16:29 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray (HT Photo)
         

Maharashtra, which goes to polls on October 21, is likely to witness a fight between ruling and opposition alliances. As of now, the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena combine seems to have an edge over the Opposition Congress-Nationalist Congress Party. The term of the 288-strong Maharashtra Assembly ends on November 8.

In 2014 all four major parties contest assembly elections on their own. The BJP won 122 seats to become single largest opposition party, falling short of 23 for majority. Devendra Fadnavis formed the government and managed initially with outside support of Sharad Pawar-led NCP but within six months, forged an alliance with Shiv Sena which had won 63 seats. The alliance gave a stable government for five years.

Sena-BJP combine

Though the two ruling partners have not been able to seal the deal for the seat sharing, they are likely to announce the alliance in the next couple of days. The BJP has been vying for larger share of the total 288 seats in the state, deviating from its promise of sharing 135 seats each. The Sena is, however, firm on its share of seats as promised during their pact in February this year ahead of the Lok Sabha election.

“It is true that both parties may face problems if we fight separately, but on the other hand the list of aspirants is so long that fewer seats will lead to a revolt within,” said a BJP leader on the condition of anonymity.

Ruling alliance has Republican Party of India faction led by Ramdas Athawale, Mahadev Jankar’s Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, Vinayak Mete’s Shiv Sangram, Sadashiv Khot’s Rayat Kranti Sanghatan as alliance partners.

Congress-NCP alliance

Congress and NCP have already sealed their deal of seat sharing with the agreement of sharing 125 seats each and leaving 38 seats for the smaller allies. The combine has at least a dozen of smaller parties. The smaller allies include Peasants and Workers Party, Swabhimani Paksha, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi, faction of Republican Party of India among others.

The NCP has already announced its first list of five candidates in Beed districts, while Congress’s first list of 50 candidates is ready and expected to be announced soon after the poll announcement.

The entire process of the electioneering needs at least 25 days, which means the voting and counting of the votes are likely to be completed before Diwali, which begins on October 27.

First Published: Sep 21, 2019 16:26 IST

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