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Last Updated : Sep 10, 2019 03:21 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Maharashtra Assembly polls: No 50:50 formula, BJP keen on fighting more seats than Shiv Sena

In February, the two parties had agreed to contest an equal number of seats in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly

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File image of BJP President Amit Shah, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis
File image of BJP President Amit Shah, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis

Despite an agreement between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena to fight on an equal number of seats in Maharashtra Assembly elections, the saffron party is keen to contest more number of seats than its ally, according to a party source.

The BJP is keen on fighting more number of seats than Sena in the view of the "changed" political scenario in the state, the source told news agency PTI, expressing confidence that such a deal would be worked out.

In February, the two parties had agreed to contest an equal number of seats in the 288-member assembly, following talks between BJP president Amit Shah and Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray to seal their Lok Sabha seat-sharing arrangement.

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However, with the BJP returning to power at the Centre with a bigger mandate and the party confident of popular support after the Modi government's move to repeal provisions of Article 370, a section of the party leaders believes the terms of engagement with the ally should be renegotiated.

The assembly elections are due in the state later this year.

State Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has emerged as the alliance's foremost leader and enjoys support from all sections of society, a BJP leader said, adding that the Sena will have no other option but to agree to his party's demand if the push comes to shove.

Also read | Formal announcement on BJP-Shiv Sena poll alliance in 2 days: Uddhav Thackeray

The BJP may look to contest anywhere between 160-170 seats, he said.

Recently, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil had also indicated that his party might not settle for 135 seats as the saffron party wanted to accommodate rebels from other parties and in view of its growing footprint.

So far there has been no official word from either of the party about the number of seats they want to contest.

In 2014 Assembly polls, both BJP and Shiv Sena had fought as they could not reach a seat-sharing deal. The BJP had one 122 and the Sena 63 seats.

(With inputs from PTI)

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First Published on Sep 10, 2019 03:21 pm
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