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Alliance will help boost Shiv Sena’s Lok Sabha tally in Maharashtra, says survey

Team from poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s firm submits results to Uddhav

mumbai Updated: Mar 15, 2019 02:01 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Nitish Kumar
Prashant Kishor meets Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at the latter's residence in Mumbai on Tuesday.(ANI)

Just days before the Shiv Sena is set to announce its first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls, a team from poll strategist Prashant Kishor’s firm submitted its survey to party chief Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday.

The survey, according to senior party functionaries, indicated the Sena has a good chance to increase its tally in the Lok Sabha in wake of the alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In the 2014 polls, the Sena won 18 of the 22 seats it contested. Kishor, who is the vice-president of Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), a constituent of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, was roped in by the Sena to devise a strategy for the general elections, in February.

According to party insiders, the team gave a detailed presentation to Thackeray at his residence ‘Matoshree’, where some members of parliament (MPs), party functionaries were also present. The firm conducted surveys in all the 23 constituencies where Sena is set to put up its candidates.

A senior party functionary said, “The survey done by them was detailed and it will help candidates reach out to people in a better way. Their survey has supplemented our study. It has projected that the Sena has a good chance of improving its numbers.”

This is not the first time the Sena has carried out a pre-poll survey to understand its standing before the general election. A survey carried out by the party a couple of months ago did point out that their tally in the Lok Sabha would go down from 18 if it contests polls with an alliance with the BJP. The Sena and BJP announced their alliance on February 18.

“They outlined strategy for the campaigning, pointed out shortcomings or focus areas in each constituency,” said a Sena MP, who was present during the presentation.

The MP refused to divulge any specific information. A Sena functionary said the survey was carried out in two phases by the firm. “For the one time, they were accompanied by Sena office-bearers or workers in the constituency. Later, they went on their own,” he said.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led party is expected to announce its first list of candidates by March 16.

First Published: Mar 15, 2019 02:01 IST