Mumbai, February 18: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena on Monday finalised seat sharing in Maharashtra for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Earlier in the day, BJP president met Sena chief Uddhav Thackrey at his residence in Mumbai after which the decision was taken. The BJP will contest on 25 seats, while its ally Shiv Sena will battle on remaining 23 seats. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was also present at the press conference. Shah speaking at the press briefing Shah exuded the confidence of winning 45 Lok Sabha seats.
“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 the government from time to time,” reported news agency ANI quoting Thackeray as saying. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed welfare-being of Maharashtra.
If we talk about 2014, the BJP contested on 24 Lok Sabha seats in the state, while the Sena fought on 20 seats. The remaining four seats were given to other allies, the Republican Party of India of Ram Das Athawale, the Swabhimani Paksha of Raju Shetty, and the Rashtriya Samaj Paksha of Mahadev Jankar. Out of the total seats contested, The BJP bagged 23 seats, while the Sena managed to win 18 seats. Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray Lashes Out at BJP for Breaking Alliance With Mehbooba Mufti's PDP.
Meanwhile, in 2014 assembly elections both the parties parted their ways. The BJP won 122 seats and the Sena remained victorious on 63 seats. There are a total of 288 assembly seats in Maharashtra. On Monday, both the parties also announced to contest the upcoming assembly elections together. However, seat sharing was not finalised for the assembly elections.
Earlier, there were speculations that BJP and Shiv Sena would contest the Lok Sabha elections separately. The Shiv Sena in the past few years has been attacking the BJP government at the centre over the various issue including the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Last Month, Thackeray in a veiled attack slammed Prime Minister Modi for failing to construct Ram temple. The Shiv Sena chief underlined that people of the country punished the Congress and voted BJP into power so that it could erect a Ram temple in the holy city.