MUMBAI: In almost a day-long meeting between the top BJP leadership from Maharashtra and the Centre, the party is learnt to have finalised the seat-sharing formula with its alliance partner Shiv Sena, which is likely to be announced anytime in next couple of days, party sources said here on Thursday.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, state party chief, revenue minister Chandrakant Patil, at least half a dozen key ministers and members of state party’s core committee reached Delhi today to finalize the seat-sharing pact today.
The party is likely to drop 44 out of 122 seating MLAs, said a senior party leader here at the time of going to press.
According to party sources, the BJP would contest 144 out of 288 assembly seats while 126 and 18 would be offered to Shiv Sena and five other smaller allies respectively.
The hint of the finalization of alliance pact was inadvertently dropped by CM Fadnavis on Wednesday. Fadnavis and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray shared dais at a workers’ union program in Navi Mumbai. At the lunch after the program, Fadnavis asked Thackeray whether he has any problem with the inauspicious period of ‘Pitru Pakhsh’ over which Thackeray quipped that the CM shouldn’t forget that Shiv Sena is the “Pitru Pakhsh” (Father Party).
Now it is being interpreted in the political circles that the reference was about announcement of the seat-sharing pact between the two allies and that the pact may be announced even before the end of Pitru Paksha on Saturday.
Earlier it was believed that all the political parties are avoiding election-related announcements due to the inauspicious period and the announcements were expected to come after Sunday.
Earlier reports suggested that Shiv Sena had agreed to contest on 120-125 seats. This was a diversion from its initial stand ongoing for a fifty-fifty formula.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had last week dismissed reports of a rift between the two parties, saying they would finalise the seat-sharing agreement for the assembly elections "very soon".
Maharashtra votes on October 21 and the counting of votes will take place on October 25. The Opposition Congress and NCP are contesting as an alliance with 125 each for both the parties, leaving the rest for smaller like-minded parties.