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BJP, Shiv Sena explore own strength before Maharashtra Assembly election

BJP, Shiv Sena explore own strength before Maharashtra Assembly election

MUMBAI: The BJP and Shiv Sena seem to be looking for opportunities to contest independently in the upcoming Assembly elections, even after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis stated that the two parties will contest as a coalition. “During a recent meeting, the top leaders told party workers that the forthcoming Assembly elections need to fight on the lines of the 2014 Assembly elections,” said on the condition of anonymity.

In 2014, the BJP and the Shiv Sena contested independently and the BJP gained many constituencies from the areas traditionally known as Shiv Sena strongholds. According to party insiders, there were around 60 constituencies where the party had lost by a margin of between 500 and 1,000 votes, while on other 30 constituencies the party’s losing margin was below 5,000 votes. The leader said that “Party workers have been asked to focus on these 90 constituencies apart from the 122 seats won in 2014. Would it be possible in an alliance with the Shiv Sena?”.

According to the alliance agreement announced by Fadnavis before the Lok Sabha elections, after leaving some seats for the other five parties within the alliance, Shiv Sena and BJP are supposed to contest on an equal number of seats. It would mean that the BJP would not be able to contest elections on more than 10-12 seats.

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Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has also Taluka level leaders to be prepared for both the scenarios - to contest with and without the alliance. The party wants to contest on least 144 seats, half of 288 and also wants the CM’s post to be shared for 2.5 years. The BJP has already rejected both the conditions.

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