Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane is set to join BJP soon. BJP is likely to ask Mr Rane to contest himself.
Mumbai: BJP's aim to win a minimum of 28 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra has sent signals that the party is set to break its alliance with Shiv Sena by 2019 general elections. BJP President Amit Shah had done a presentation in the last week in New Delhi where he shows how the party should start working on winning 360 seats all over India in 2019 elections in which Mr Shah has given target of 28 seats to Maharashtra. Highly placed sources say that BJP has already started working according to the plan and now they are looking after constituencies won by Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in 2014.
BJP president made a presentation before senior leaders and ministers of the party in last week in New Delhi. Mr Shah is expecting to get 28 seats from Maharashtra. He told to work on the line. This target is four more seats than what BJP had in its quota in the 2014 election when it was in an alliance with Shiv Sena and other smaller parties. BJP had won 23 seats on its own in 2014 in Maharashtra.
To get more seats than last time, sources revealed that the party has now started working on Sena and NCP's seats. In Mumbai, BJP and Sena contested on three seats each when they were in alliance. This time, BJP is preparing itself on all 6 seats of the city. Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane is set to join BJP very soon. His son was a Member of Parliament in Ratnagiri Sindhudurga LS constituency in 2009-14 and lost to Sena candidate in 2014. Sources said, BJP is likely to ask Mr Rane to contest himself.
In other seats of Sena, Nasik and Shirdi from North Maharashtra and Buldana and Wardha from Vidarbha will be important shots that BJP would be looking for.Not only Sena, BJP is also trying to make inroads in NCP's bastion western Maharashtra. Party sources indicate that like Mr Rane, BJP will poach two strong leaders of NCP from the region. The party is concentrating on Kolhapur and Madha Lok Sabha constituencies.
When asked about this possibility of BJP going alone, senior Sena MP told that they are aware about it. "If you listen to the recent speech of Uddhavaji (Thackeray) where he asked to be ready for any eventuality, you will get an idea. We too have started working on the ground," said a leader.