Fadnavis says Maharashtra seat sharing not yet finalised

The Asian Age.

India, Politics

According to sources, Shiv Sena wants at least 18 seats it had won in 2019 while NCP will not agree to contest fewer seats than Shiv Sena

Devendra Fadnavis.

Mumbai: Days after claiming that the BJP would contest 26 out of 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said the final call on the seat-sharing formula will be taken after a meeting with Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and Ajit Pawar-led NCP. He also said that the seats won by alliance partners should remain with them, but necessary changes regarding seat swapping will be made.

Going by Mr. Fadnavis’s logic, the Ajit Pawar group can get a maximum of seven Lok Sabha seats, which will not be acceptable for the NCP leader.

Earlier, the BJP had said that his party will contest 26 out of the 48 seats in the state and the remaining 22 seats will be shared by the Shiv Sena and NCP.

Changing his stand, Mr, Fadnavis said, “Discussions between allies are yet to begin and a formula would be decided only after the deliberations. The basis of the formula will be: the seats should go to those (parties) who have already contested that particular constituency.”

In 2019, the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena had contested 25 and 23 seats respectively. While the NCP, which was the alliance partner of the Congress had contested 19 seats and won four of them. The Shiv Sena had won 18 seats out of which 13 MPs are now with Mr. Shinde.

According to sources, Shiv Sena wants at least 18 seats it had won in 2019 while the NCP (Ajit Pawar faction) will not agree to contest fewer seats than the Eknath Shinde-led party.

Mr. Pawar has also indicated that the ‘Mahayuti’ (grand alliance) of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Shiv Sena led by CM Shinde and Nationalist Congress Party (Ajit Pawar faction) will hold seat-sharing talks after the results of five state Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Mizoram and Telangana.

Mr Fadnavis said the seat-sharing formula will be flexible. “We will make necessary changes and discuss with the alliance partners,” he said.