MUMBAI: The BJP-Shiv Sena seat sharing talks are stuck after the first round on Wednesday. While both the parties agreed over the formula that grants 18 seats for smaller alliance partners, their shared allotment quota has become a contentious issue.
State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil and former state president Sudhir Mungantiwar met with senior Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai on Wednesday but the distribution of the remaining 170 seats among the two major parties remains to be resolved, said sources within BJP adding that the issue will be resolved in the one or two more rounds of the talks.
According to the sources within Shiv Sena, the party has taken astand that the seats being left for smaller allies (18) be counted as the seats from the BJP quota as all the parties are the allies of the BJP and not that of the Shiv Sena. The BJP does not agree with the plan.
According to sources within the BJP, looking at the strength it has gained in local bodies as well as the new incumbents, the party wants to contest more than 170 seats.
However, Shiv Sena is not ready to accept anything less than 110 seats which leaves 160 seats for the BJP.
Meanwhile, the Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) said that it will have its chief minister after the assembly polls, even as its ally the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), has expressed displeasure over seats offered to them and may even break away from the alliance.
The AIMIM had demanded 98 seats even as Ambedkar had offered only 8 seats to them. Ambedkar said that the arrangement has not been finalised yet and a decision from the Congress regarding the alliance is awaited.
State unit president of AIMIM, Imtiyaz Jaleel, said though their strength is being undermined in VBA, they have decided to wait before taking the final call about the alliance. “Ambedkar and our party chief Owaisi had made the alliance possible. Hence, we are waiting for directives from our party leaders and we shall act accordingly.”
Congress finalises 70 candidates
The Congress has finalised its 70 candidates for the forthcoming Assembly election in Maharashtra, leader of opposition Vijay Wadettiwar has said.Wadettiwar said that the party leaders discussed all the 110 seats in the state where it has no dispute with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). The seat sharing formula between the Congress and NCP has been finalised. Both the parties will contest 125 seats each.