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Shubhangi Khapre | Express Web Desk | Mumbai | Feb 18, 2019:: Setting aside their differences, the BJP and Shiv Sena on Monday announced a seat-sharing pact for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Maharashtra. While the BJP and Sena will contest 25 and 23 seats respectively in the Lok Sabha polls, the two parties said they would contest an equal number of seats in the Assembly elections due this year.
The pre-poll alliance was formalised after BJP chief Amit Shah, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray met at Matoshree in Mumbai. They said they had set aside their differences keeping in mind the Pulwama terror attack, their common Hindutva ideology and “national interest”.
Fadnavis announced the seat-sharing deal for the LS polls, where the BJP has given an additional seat to Sena, taking its tally up to 23 seats of the state’s 48 seats. In 2014, the seat-sharing formula was: Shiv Sena (22), BJP (24), Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (1) and Rashtriya Swabhimani Paksha (1).
On Assembly polls to 288 seats in the state, Fadnavis said: “After setting aside a few seats for the smaller allies, BJP and Shiv Sena will share the remaining seats equally 50:50.”
Sources said there was some give and take on both sides, which helped take the pre-poll alliance forward. Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said, “The Shiv Sena’s decision to agree to the pre-poll alliance was made keeping in mind the challenges confronting the nation in the wake of the terror strike at Pulwama. Secondly, BJP and Sena unity was necessary to keep the Congress-NCP alliance out. Our alliance also is an outcome to honour the sentiments of the people in Maharashtra and the country.”
Courtesy: Indian Express.