Shiv Sena, BJP set to declare seat-sharing pact today

The BJP and the Shiv Sena are set to announce in Mumbai later on Monday a seat-sharing arrangement for the coming general election, senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut said.

BJP president Amit Shah is scheduled to visit ”Matoshree”, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s residence in suburban Bandra and seal the alliance, another Sena leader said.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met Mr. Thackeray last week, fuelling speculation that the bickering ruling alliance partners in Maharashtra and at the Centre may come together ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. On February 14, he returned here halfway through his Vidarbha tour to meet Mr. Thackeray. He said after the meeting that they had “positive talks” on State-related issues.

Senior Sena leaders, including Mr. Thackeray, had maintained that the party will contest the polls independently.

“Today evening, Uddhavji and BJP national president Amit Shah will announce the seat-sharing formula for the Lok Sabha elections, which are a couple of months away,” Mr. Raut told PTI.

In January 2018, the Sena announced its decision of going solo in future elections.

However, the two parties contested some Legislative Council seats with mutual understanding, a BJP leader said.

The Sena has been regularly hitting out at its ally BJP on various issues over the last few years.

While the BJP had indicated that it would like to form alliance with it for the coming Lok Sabha elections, the Sena had so far been giving mixed signals.

The BJP and Shiv Sena had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections jointly.

However, the BJP had parted ways with the Sena ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections held later that year. The BJP won 122 seats, while the Sena could bag only 63.

Source: TheHIndu

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