BJP concedes to Shiva Sena’s hard bargaining

Shiva Sena that frequently very critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governance, has succeeded in making BJP to concede more seats to them in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, than they contested together in 2014. After hectic negotiations held today in the presence of BJP chief Amit Shah, both the parties finalised a seat-sharing pact. The deal was reached after BJP president Amit Shah met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at his residence in Mumbai.

The BJP will contest 25 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra while Shiv Sena will fight on the remaining 23.  In 2014, the BJP contested 24 Lok Sabha seats and the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena 20. Four seats went to other allies, the Swabhimani Paksha of Raju Shetty, the Republican Party of India of Ram Das Athawale and the Rashtriya Samaj Paksha of Mahadev Jankar.

The alliance was announced in a joint press conference of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, BJP president Amit Shah and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai.  “Shiv Sena and the Akali Dal are among our oldest allies. We has some differences but they are a thing of the past now. Our alliance will win at least 45 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra,” said BJP chief Amit Shah.

Uddhav Thackeray said the Shiv Sena and the BJP are old allies. “People have seen the Shiv Sena and the BJP for the past 30 years. For 25 years, we stood united, there was confusion for five years. But like Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, I still provided guidance to government from time to time,” Thackeray added.

Shiv Sena will fight on 23 seats while BJP will contest 25 seats from Maharashtra in Lok Sabha elections in 2019 as the two parties announced a pre-poll alliance in the state.

The two parties will also contest the Maharashtra Assembly Election together. For Vidhan Sabha, both parties have agreed to a 50-50 seat-sharing formula. The exact number will be decided after considering the demands of other allies. The distribution of portfolios and responsibilities will be decided after the results of the election.

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