Suspense over BJP-Shiv Sena seat-sharing deal continues as a scheduled joint press conference of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to make a formal announcement regarding pre-poll pact has been cancelled. In a late-night development, leaders from both parties said that no statement will be issued on Tuesday.
The press meet was to be addressed by Fadnavis Thackeray, a 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 told PTI, 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 the 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 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.
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 (NDA).
With PTI Inputs