MUMBAI: The BJP and Shiv Sena seem to be exploring possibilities of contesting the forthcoming Assembly elections independently even after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis stated that the two parties will contest as an alliance.“Though all the leaders from both the parties are talking of an alliance, I don’t think that it is going to happen. During a recent meeting, the top leaders told party workers that the forthcoming Assembly polls need to be contested on the lines of the 2014 Assembly polls,” said a BJP leader on the condition of anonymity.
In 2014, the BJP and the Shiv Sena had contested independently and the BJP had gained many constituencies from the areas traditionally known as Shiv Sena strongholds. According to party insiders, there were around 60 constituencies where the party had lost by a margin of between 500 and 1,000 votes, while on other 30 constituencies the party’s losing margin was below 5,000 votes. “Party cadres have been asked to concentrate on these 90 constituencies apart from the 122 won in 2014. Would it be possible in an alliance with the Shiv Sena?” the leader said.
According to the alliance pact announced by Fadnavis before the Lok Sabha elections, the Shiv Sena and the BJP are supposed to contest on an equal number of seats after leaving some seats for the other five parties within the alliance. It would mean that the BJP would not be able to contest on more than 10-12 seats. “In that case where will all these leaders being inducted in the party go?” asked another BJP leader.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has also Taluka level leaders to be prepared for both the scenarios — to contest with and without the alliance. The party wants to contest on least 144 seats, half of 288 and also wants the CM’s post to be shared for 2.5 years. The BJP has already declined both the conditions.