MUMBAI: The cloud of uncertainty over the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance has cleared, as both the parties on Friday announced that they would jointly contest the Legislative Assembly elections.
The leaders of both the parties held a meeting here, to discuss the format of the alliance. They have also decided first to finalise the seat allocation to new members of the alliance. They are Republican Party of India(RPI), Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana(SSS) and Rashtriya Samaj Paksha(RSP).
“We did not discuss seat-sharing on Friday. The issue of seat allocation will come (be discussed) in the next meeting on Monday,” said state BJP president Devendra Fadnavis.
Several BJP leaders had demanded to snap ties with the Shiv Sena after the party’s historic win in the Lok Sabha elections.
According to a source, both the parties have shown some flexibility on their demands on the number of seats. The Shiv Sena has agreed to give up at least 24 seats which it has never won. These seats are most likely to be spared for the new members of the alliance.
On the contrary, the BJP too has taken a step back from its demand for a bigger share than the existing 119 seats in the alliance. The party will not stick to its demand of 140 seats out of 288.
Senior Shiv Sena leader Diwakar Raote confirmed to Express that his party will not take a rigid stand on the issue of seat sharing.
“Our priority will be to win the elections. If the BJP is powerful in any specific constituency we will spare the seat for them. We expect a similar treatment from them,” he said.
Raote said his party will try to finalise the seat sharing formula at the second rank leaders’ level only. “We are trying for a consensus so that our seniors should not be troubled on the seat sharing issue.
The people of Maharashtra want a change of the guard. They are not interested in the internal seat sharing pact between the Shiv Sena and BJP. And we don’t want to disrespect public opinion,” Raote said.