With Lok Sabha elections barely months away, every party is running around to gather support and establish their alliances. In the latest, reports suggest that Shiv Sena and BJP could contest on equal number of seats from Maharashtra in the General Elections, 2019.
With SP-BSP going hand with hand in the Lok Sabha elections in the state that sends 80 MPs to Lok Sabha, seats for the Parliament’s lower house from other states become even more important for the current ruling regime. With 48 seats, Maharashtra comes second in sending most number of Lok Sabha MPs. Whoever wins a good chunk of these seats could go on a long way in an attempt at forming the government at the centre. BJP will look towards Shiv Sena to continue a healthy alliance in Maharashtra.
Only in the 2014 elections, BJP with its alliance partner Shiv Sena, combined to win 41 seats out of the total 48. Out of the 41, BJP won on 23 seats while Shiv Sena bagged 18 of the seats. BJP won a remarkable 27% vote share to Sena’s nearing 21%.
After the two parties couldn’t reach a seat-sharing agreement before the 2014 Assembly Elections, Shiv Sena and BJP broke their 25 year old alliance, with Devendra Fadnavis announcing “Sena remained inflexible during negotiations. We are friends but now have decided to go separately.” In the elections Sena won a total of 63 seats, while BJP registered victory in 122 seats of the 288 seat state, with Fadnavis becoming the Chief Minister.
Reports suggest that while Thackeray wanted to have a deal ahead of the 2019 Assembly elections too, it remains to be seen if only the Lok Sabha distribution will be announced today or sharing with respect to the Vidhan sabha elections be also released. A equal seat-sharing formula of 24 Lok Sabha seat each is speculated at the moment.
1995 Assembly elections was the first time when their alliance defeated Congress in Maharashtra. Reportedly, Sena had asked for the same model that led the alliance to victory in 1995, a formula in which in case of a victory the state would get a Shiv Sena Chief Minister.
A joint press conference is slated to take place by BJP president Amit Shah and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai.
In a situation of no-alliance, political analyst gave both parties near zero chance of achieving votes anywhere close to their success in General Elections 2014.