MUMBAI: Leaders of the Shiv Sena and the BJP on Saturday exuded confidence of winning a second consecutive term in Maharashtra, hours after the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the poll schedule.
Maharashtra will go for a single-phase elections on October 21. Counting of votes will be taken up on October 24. "The 'Yuti' (alliance) will burst crackers a day before Diwali (due later in October). Our preparations are complete," Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut told reporters here.
Senior BJP leader Vinod Tawde said that a BJP-led alliance government under Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will emerge victorious once again. "In the next one month, we will ensure the report card of our development work of the last five years reaches the people as against the erstwhile 15-year rule of the Congress-NCP combine. That's what we intend to do in the next five years," said the state School Education Minister.
Meanwhile, when asked about the ECI not announcing the date for the byelection to Satara Lok Sabha constituency represented by NCP's Udayanraje Bhosale before he joined the BJP last week, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said Bhosale will work to ensure victory of BJP-Sena candidates.
Bhosale had reportedly wanted the bypoll announcement to be made with the schedule of the state assembly polls. "It's true that the Lok Sabha bypoll has not been declared along with the assembly schedule. But, Udayanraje, the 13th descendant of Chahtrapati Shivaji Maharaj, is now a BJP worker and he will work to ensure victory of the nominees of the BJP and Sena," he said.
When asked whether the seat-sharing pact between the Sena and the BJP will be announced on Sunday by Union Home Minister and party Chief Amit Shah during his visit here, Patil said, "I have no idea."Various reports about contours of the seat-sharing formula are doing rounds.
Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said the "formula" was decided during the Lok Sabha elections, where the two parties had a pre-poll alliance. The BJP had won the maximum 122 seats and and Sena 63 seats out of the total 288 constituencies in the 2014 assembly polls, which they contested separately.