This would mean that the Sena would get to choose the chief minister in case the alliance wins
The Shiv Sena has sought Big Brother status in the Maharashtra seat-sharing arrangement with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and demanded a return to the 1995 formula, The Indian Express reported.
According to the report, BJP President Amit Shah on February 11 called Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to finalise the seat-sharing arrangement. Thackeray demanded that the alliance return to the 1995 formula, wherein the Sena contested on 169 seats while the BJP was given a much smaller chunk of 116 out of the 288 seats in Maharashtra Assembly.
This would mean that the Sena would get to choose the chief minister in the event of the alliance's win.
During the 1995 elections, the Sena had won 73 seats while the BJP had won 65, and Manohar Joshi, belonging to the Sena, was appointed the CM.
According to the report, Shah is looking to finalise the seat-sharing arrangement for the Lok Sabha polls. However, Thackeray is keen on brokering a deal which involves both the national as well as the Assembly elections.
According to the report, as a response to bargaining from both sides, Sena decided to send its representative, Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) Sanjay Raut, to Andhra Bhavan to demonstrate the party's support for Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu.
Naidu was on a daylong fast to demand special status for Andhra. A number of Opposition leaders visited the leader to show their solidarity.
According to the report, Raut was sent in to display to the BJP that the Sena had other options in case the negotiation doesn't go the party's way.
The report states that while the Sena might eventually scale down to 145 seats, it would still mean a major compromise on the part of the BJP, which had won 122 seats while contesting separately during the last assembly polls. Shiv Sena had managed to win 62 seats.In terms of the Lok Sabha seat-sharing arrangement, according to the report, Janata Dal (United) leader Prashant Kishor had offered to negotiate for 28 of the 48 Parliamentary seats in the state. Kishor had met Thackeray on February 6 at the latter's residence in Mumbai. However, Sena leaders have remained non-committal to the proposal.