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Sena-BJP yet to seal pact for Maharashtra polls

September 23, 2019 22:57 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena are yet to conclude their seat-sharing talks for the October 21 assembly elections in Maharashtra and there will be no announcement about a formal pre-poll pact on Tuesday, leaders from both parties said on Monday night.

The late night development came hours after a senior BJP leader, on condition of anonymity, said the two saffron allies have finalised a seat-sharing arrangement and a formal announcement will be made at a joint press meet on Tuesday.

 

The press meet was to be addressed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, the BJP leader had said in the evening.

However, the Sena did not confirm holding such a joint media conference with the BJP when contacted by PTI.

Later in the night, senior Sena leader Anil Parab said that no such announcement will take place on Tuesday. The decision of the BJP-Sena (on seat-sharing) will be announced once the talks are over.

Parab is also leader of the house in the Maharashtra Legislative Council.

The Sena's denial about finalising a seat-sharing pact was later confirmed by top state BJP leadership as well.

When asked whether any formal announcement about the the BJP-Sena alliance for the assembly polls is going to take place on Tuesday, a second BJP leader replied in the negative.

He said, "No such announcement will take place tomorrow."

Maharashtra has 288 seats in the lower house of which BJP had won 122 and the Sena 63 in the 2014 assembly election, which they had fought separately.

A few months later, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party joined the government led by Fadnavis, the first BJP chief minister of Maharashtra.

The saffron allies are locked in an intense negotiation on seat-sharing and a consensus has eluded them till now on how many constituencies each of them will contest.

The Shiv Sena has been insisting on 50:50 division of seats, but the BJP does not appear to be amiable to this deal.

If an alliance formalises, the two parties also have to accommodate smaller allies who are part of the National Democratic Alliance.

Addressing a rally on Sunday, BJP president Amit Shah had lauded Fadnavis for his performance over the last five years and asserted he will continue to hold the coveted post after elections, which he claimed, the NDA will win with a three-fourth majority.

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