News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay  » News » Why BJP hasn't named Maharashtra candidates so far

Why BJP hasn't named Maharashtra candidates so far

By Manisha Rege
March 03, 2024 10:50 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led ruling alliance and the Opposition bloc are united in their belief that winnability is the only formula for seat-sharing in Maharashtra, which sends the second-highest number of 48 MPs to the Lok Sabha after 80 from Uttar Pradesh.

IMAGE: BJP president JP Nadda (third from right) with Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis (second from right) during the BJP election management committee meeting ahead of Lok Sabha elections, in Mumbai, February 21, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

Maharashtra, the country's most industrialised state and its premier Foreign Direct Investment magnet, however, has seen a political churn since 2019, with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena breaking its long-time alliance with the BJP, and then suffering a split, just like the Sharad Pawar-founded Nationalist Congress Party.


A major chunk of the Shiv Sena is now with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and it is allied with the BJP.

The NCP also met a similar fate as Ajit Pawar walked away with a legislative majority last year and is also part of the ruling alliance.

The splits and realignments have made seat-sharing a herculean task with claims and counter-claims, leaders from the ruling and opposition parties said.

The BJP, which along with the then undivided Shiv Sena won a cumulative 41 out of the 48 seats in 2019, is looking to better the National Democratic Alliance tally to 45, whereas the Opposition Congress will seek to put behind its disastrous 2019 outing when it won just one seat.

The seat-sharing issue is being discussed with the central leadership, Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule told PTI.

The opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), comprising the Thackeray-led Shiv Sena-Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray, Sharad Pawar faction of the NCP and the Congress, is wooing the Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, but the grandson of legendary social reformer Babasaheb Ambedkar is yet to make a formal announcement about his allegiance.

As per sources, the BJP is expected to contest more than 30 seats, while the Ajit Pawar-led NCP, which has sought 10 seats, is likely to get four.

The Shinde-led party wants to contest 18 seats, the number won by the undivided Shiv Sena in the 2019 polls.

Amol Mitkari, spokesperson of the Ajit Pawar-led NCP, said his party wants to contest 10 seats, including Baramati in Pune.

A senior BJP leader said discussions were underway at the top level of the party leadership, adding that it would definitely contest more seats than what it did last time.

Speaking about seat-sharing, Shiv Sena-UBT leader Sanjay Raut said the MVA has completed discussions and an announcement will be made soon by the top leadership of the constituent parties.

However, Congress leaders said the discussion continues on seats that it was traditionally contesting as part of its alliance with the undivided NCP but were won by the Shiv Sena in the 2019 polls.

The MPs from these seats are now part of the Shinde faction.

The Congress is ready to contest a maximum of 20 seats, while the NCP-Sharadchandra Pawar could field candidates in nine to 10 constituencies.

A senior Congress leader told PTI there was a lack of clarity on how many seats Prakash Ambedkar may demand, but added. "We will keep trying till the end (for alliance with VBA)".

Another Congress leader said Ambedkar can damage the grand old party's prospects in at least half a dozen seats, just like in 2019, in case an alliance does not materialise.

He said the Congress is ready to give Akola seat to Ambedkar.

The MVA has agreed in-principle on seat adjustments and the next round of talks will take place at the central leadership level in Delhi, Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe said.

Another senior Congress leader said there is unanimity on 30 seats between his party and the NCP (faction led by Sharad Pawar), while there are differences on five to six of the 18 seats won in 2019 by the then undivided Shiv Sena.

"The Congress wants Yavatmal, Ramtek, Hingoli, Bhiwandi and an additional seat in Mumbai. We have more MLAs, Zilla Parishad and market committee members in these constituencies and, hence, we should get to contest. The issue will be resolved soon,' the leader added.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Manisha Rege in Mumbai
Source: PTI© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
India Votes 2024

India Votes 2024