BJP, Shiv Sena to announce seat-sharing pact for LS polls
(Sourced from PTI)
Ruling allies BJP and Shiv Sena are set to announce seat-sharing arrangement for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections in Mumbai today, senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut said. BJP president Amit Shah is scheduled to visit Matoshree in Kalanagar locality, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray's residence in suburban Bandra, today and seal the alliance, another Sena leader informed. The elections are expected to start in April.
"Today evening Uddhavji and BJP national president Amit Shah will announce the seat-sharing formula for the Lok Sabha elections which are a couple of months away," Raut said. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had met Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai last week, fuelling speculation that the bickering ruling alliance partners in Maharashtra and at the Center may come together ahead of the elections.
Senior Sena leaders, including Uddhav, have been maintaining that the party will contest the polls independently. The Sena last January announced its decision of going solo in future elections. However, the two parties contested some Legislative Council seats with mutual understanding, a BJP leader said. Fadnavis had on February 14 returned in Mumbai halfway through his Vidarbha tour to meet Uddhav.
The chief minister said later that they had "positive talks" on state-related issues. The Sena has been regularly hitting out at its ally BJP on various issues over the last few years. While the BJP had indicated that it would like to form an alliance with it for the coming Lok Sabha elections, the Sena had so far been giving mixed signals.
The BJP and Shiv Sena had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections jointly. However, the BJP had parted ways with the Sena ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections held later that year. The BJP had then won 122 seats while the Sena won only 63.