To get the Shiv Sena on board, the BJP is mulling to draw up the seat-sharing formula for the state Assembly elections before the Lok Sabha polls. This, BJP leaders claim, may lead to the Shiv Sena giving up its insistence on contesting elections sans an alliance with the BJP.
“The Shiv Sena is speaking about going alone as they feel we may ally with them before the Lok Sabha elections, but snap ties when it comes to the state polls,” said a senior BJP leader. He added that the Sena was also cagey about the giving up its claims to its traditional seats (like Goregaon in Mumbai), which were won by the BJP in the 2014 elections, and in cities like Pune and Nashik, where the BJP swept all Assembly constituencies.
“The Shiv Sena is not willing to give up its claim on these contentious seats as it feels the BJP won them only on the basis of the Narendra Modi wave. We are proposing that the seat-sharing formula and equation for the state Assembly be drawn up at the time of the Lok Sabha polls to allay their concerns,” said the BJP leader, adding that both parties would have to negotiate and adjust to keep the Congress and NCP out of power.
The BJP has 122 seats in the state Assembly, with the Shiv Sena at a distant number two with 63. After the saffron alliance sweeping 42 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, the BJP snapped its ties with the Sena and contested the Assembly elections on its own strength.
The Shiv Sena is insisting that it will contest all future elections sans an alliance. However, it has kept a window for a pre-poll understanding with the BJP on grounds of Hindutva and better power-sharing terms.
After the saffron alliance swept 42 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, BJP snapped its ties with Sena and contested the Assembly polls on its own