MUMBAI: The BJP’s new sharing formula ahead of the assembly polls could create a rift with ally Shiv Sena. While the BJP claims the proposed arrangement is aimed to help the alliance win the maximum number of seats in the state, Sena says they are being cheated and undermined.
While formally announcing the tie-up with Sena in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said both the parties would contest an equal number of seats, while the smaller partners in the alliance will get their due. He also said the posts and responsibilities will also be shared equally.
However, according to the formula recently proposed by revenue minister Chandrakant Patil, 18 seats would be given to smaller allies and the Shiv Sena and BJP would contest 135 seats each. This means that while the BJP and Shiv Sena would contest 270 of the 288 seats in the state assembly, Ramdas Athawale’s RPI(A), Mahadeo Jankar’s Rashtriya Samaj Party (RSP), Sadabhau Khot’s Rayat Kranti Paksha (RKP) and Vinayak Mete’s ShivaSangram (SS) would have to be happy with their share of 18 seats.
In 2014, BJP and Sena had contested separately and won 122 and 63 seats respectively. The BJP had made inroads in several of the traditional Shiv Sena strongholds like Mumbai, Pune and Nashik.
According to the current formula, the BJP has proposed that all the currently held seats would remain with the respective parties.
This means that the Sena won’t get an opportunity to contest the seats which it once used to win comfortably.