Mumbai: Saffron allies BJP and Shiv Sena will share equal number of seats in the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections, a senior BJP leader has said. The elections are slated to be conducted in September-October this year.
Talking to reporters here Saturday, Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil also said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was the ‘natural choice’ of the people, the BJP and the Sena for the top post again. Patil said that the BJP and Shiv Sena would contest in 135 seats each in the 288-member House, and leave 18 seats for other allies.
“Both Amit Shah and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had given a word that BJP and Shiv Sena will fight the Assembly polls together. Our party doesn’t go back on its word,” Patil asserted.
“We have 122 sitting MLAs and eight independents are supporting the BJP, whereas the Shiv Sena has 63 sitting MLAs. We will get only five additional seats,” added Patil.
Patil also pointed out that Fadnavis has a very ‘balanced’ relation with the Shiv Sena. “He has good equations with Uddhav Thackeray,” stated Patil.
“When ‘Saamana’ (Sena mouthpiece) wrote critical editorials, Fadnavis would tell the party not to make their criticism public in the newspaper, but express it internally,” Patil said.
In the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls, the Sena-BJP alliance won 41 of the 48 seats. While the BJP secured 23 of the 25 seats it contested, the Sena managed victory in 18 of the 23 seats it fought.