PM Modi chairs BJP meet to select candidates for Maharashtra, Haryana polls
A crucial BJP meet which is expected to finalise the list of candidates for Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections and reveal nitty-gritty of its alliance with Shiv Sena has begun at party’s headquarters in New Delhi on Sunday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister and BJP President Amit Shah and party working president JP Nadda are attending the meeting with the top party leaders from Maharashtra and Haryana. The meeting will also reveal if BJP will contest more seats than Sena in Maharashtra.
October 4 is the last day for filing nominations for the assembly elections in both states slated for October 21. Poll results will be declared on October 24.
WATCH | PM Modi chairs key BJP meet to select Maharashtra, Haryana poll candidates
The announcement, expected later today, follows protracted seat-sharing negotiations with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said yesterday that he had promised his late father Bal Thackeray to install a ‘Shiv sainik’ (party worker) as Maharashtra’s chief minister. The Sena is projecting Uddhav’s son Aaditya as the CM face.
BJP has been insisting that the incumbent Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis would helm the state again if the alliance wins
“I had promised Balasaheb that I will make a Shiv sainik the chief minister of Maharashtra. I have vowed to fulfil this promise,” Uddhav said while addressing party workers in Bandra on Saturday.
A senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party had earlier said on the condition of anonymity that his party will retain the ‘big brother’ status in the alliance with around 150-155 seats to contest and the next Maharashtra chief minister will be from the BJP. The party has rejected Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena’s suggestion for the rotation of CM’s post
Remaining 8-18 seats may go to allies such as the RPI of Ramdas Athawale and Rashtriya Samaj Paksha of Mahadev Jankar, a BJP leader had told HT on condition of anonymity and added that some other prospective allies could field candidates on BJP symbol.
BJP chief Amit Shah held a marathon meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other senior state party leaders in Delhi on Thursday to discuss the seat-sharing formula with Shiv Sena.
The BJP is keen on winning a clear majority in the 288-member assembly on its own and wants to contest maximum number of seats possible after division with Sena.
After playing the role of junior partner in earlier elections, the BJP broke its alliance with the Sena in 2014 over seat-sharing issues and returned with its highest tally of 122 in the state out of the 260 seats contested. The Shiv Sena won 63 out of 282 contested seats and formed a post-poll alliance with the BJP.
Deciding candidates for Haryana is likely to be easier since the BJP is contesting all the 90 assembly constituencies.