BJP-Sena alliance: Sena wants at least 126 seats, BJP says no more than 120
Ahead of the Assembly polls, BJP chief Amit Shah held a marathon meeting with CM Devendra Fadnavis, state party chief Chandrakant Patil and other state core committee members in New Delhi on Thursday. The alliance formula will be finalised after the CM conveys Shah’s decision to Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. It will be announced only after September 28.
The meeting, which went on for nearly nine hours from Thursday afternoon, was to finalise candidates. Fadnavis is also learnt to have conveyed and discussed the saffron seat-sharing negotiations with the Sena with Shah. The formula discussed includes 126 seats for the Sena and 162 seats for the BJP and its smaller allies. Going by this formula, it is also learnt that the BJP may hand over only eight seats to its smaller allies and even these candidates will be made to contest on the party’s lotus symbol.
The party is keen on reaching a clear majority in the 288 member house on its own, and so wants to contest maximum number of seats possible.
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“The party president discussed each of the seats with us, the core committee. That’s why it took long. A majority of the candidates have been finalised. In 20% of the seats, we had more than one aspirant. There will be change in 10-15% of our candidates,” said a senior state BJP leader, adding Fadnavis will hold a meeting with Shah to finalise the formula.
After the last round , it is learnt the Sena has refused to go below 126 seats, while the BJP was not willing to offer more than 120 seats. Moreover, the tussle is also over around 8-10 seats the Sena has sought in Navi Mumbai, Vidarbha, north Maharashtra and even in Mumbai