The chief minister has said that “opposition parties are bound to gain” if BJP-Shiv Sena fight separately
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said that both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena will lose out if their alliance breaks ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
He said that if Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) fight the elections together and BJP-Sena contest polls separately, the ruling alliance’s votes will be split.
If the BJP-Sena votes split, "Opposition parties are bound to gain. While this will dent us, it will dent the Sena more. The BJP-Sena alliance is beneficial for both. We are prepared, so maybe we lose three-four seats here and there if we fight alone. But, at the national level today, we need to keep our allies with us. The Sena is one of our oldest allies, and we have lot of ideological similarities," Fadnavis said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.
When asked whether Sharad Pawar-led NCP could be an alternative to the Sena, Fadnavis said: "I don’t think the NCP can be an alternative for us. We don’t share any ideological similarities [with NCP]. I don’t even think the NCP has an ideology. It is a party of convenience, so it will go with anyone if it is convenient. As of now, I see no possibility of an alliance with the NCP," Fadnavis added.
How the numbers stacked in 2014
With 48 Lok Sabha seats, Maharashtra has the second largest pool of parliamentary constituencies after Uttar Pradesh.
In 2014, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had won 42 out of the 48 seats in the state. BJP had won 23 seats while the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena won 18 seats. Their ally Swabhimani Paksha led by Raju Shetti had won one seat. Shetti left the NDA in 2017 citing dissatisfaction with the Narendra Modi government over handling of agrarian and farmer issues.
However, the assembly polls in October 2014 ended up in a hung assembly after BJP-Shiv Sena and Congress-NCP fought the elections separately.BJP had won 122 seats in the 288-member Assembly. Shiv Sena won 63 seats followed by Congress 42 and NCP’s 41. BJP had formed the government with a post-poll alliance with the Sena.