BJP, Sena have reached seat sharing deal for Lok Sabha, Assembly elections: Sources
New Delhi: The BJP has finalised its seat sharing formula with the Shiv Sena for the coming LS elections and the Maharashtra Assembly elections, sources have said.
The BJP will contest a few seats more than the Sena in both elections, sources said, cementing its role as the senior alliance partner in the state, Zee Media reported.
Sources further informed that the BJP would contest in 25 of Maharashtra's 48 Lok Sabha seats. The Shiv Sena has been allotted the remaining 23 seats. For the Assembly elections slated to be held later in the year, the BJP will contest in 145 of the 288 seats, with the Shiv Sena getting the remaining 143 seats, according to the sources. There is yet no information on whether the BJP would accommodate its smaller NDA partners from its share of the seats. The seat sharing formula also includes an agreement that the Sena would be allotted 6 to 7 seats that the BJP presently holds in the Maharashtra Assembly. The BJP sources said the Sena has no interest in Vidarbha, but is interested in BJP holdings in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Nashik and Pune. However, the Shiv Sena has denied reports that the two parties have finalised the seat sharing formula, and said the authority to confirm any distribution formula lies with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
The Shiv Sena has been smarting since the BJP demanded more seats during the seat distribution talks ahead of the 2014 Maharashtra Assembly elections. The BJP, emboldened by its strong showing the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, pushed hard. The two long-time allies parted ways and contested on their own even as they remained partners at the Centre. The venture ended in a disastrous result from the Sena's point of view. The BJP won 123 seats with its smaller NDA partners, while the Shiv Sena managed only 63. The BJP was also helped by the breakdown of the long-term alliance between the Congress and NCP ahead of the elections.