Clearing all the confusion surrounding the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has clarified that both the alliance partners will be contesting the Assembly polls together, he also indicated that the allies will be announcing the seat sharing agreement soon. Along with the launch of a month-long Maha Janadesh Yatra by the Chief minister, the BJP also unveiled its ambitious election campaign. CM Devendra Fadnavis while addressing the BJP’s State executive meeting in Goregaon said “Let there be no confusion. This election will be fought as an alliance. We will declare the seat sharing at the earliest. Any of the 288 seats would come to us.”
CM Devendra Fadnavis also ended the speculations after comments by Uddhav Thackeray’s son Aditya Thackeray who had claimed that the next Chief Minister will be from Shiv Sena. “I have already said that I will be coming back as the Chief Minister. And I am not the CM of only the BJP, but of the Sena, RPI and the RSP as well.” said CM Devendra Fadnavis.
Meanwhile, Chandrakant Dada Patil, the new State Chief, told BJP workers that the party has set a target of winning at least 220 of the 288 seats in Maharashtra. “Let’s leave the alliance and seat-sharing talks to Mr. Fadnavis and Amit Shah. Let’s strengthen the BJP at the booth level. Even if our allies contest certain seats, our booth structure will ensure their victory,” he said.
Staking Shiv Sena’s claim Aditya Thackeray had earlier said “Of course, the Sena will have a chief minister. And it has been decided between BJP president Amit Shah ji and Shiv Sena president Uddhav ji. I was only the fourth person in the room, apart from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. People who don’t know about this agreement and people who believe in personal interests are speaking about many other things. But anyone who believes in the best interest of the country, Maharashtra and both the parties, they know what the alliance is and what the agreement is.”, However there were no similar comments from BJP Chief and union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Earlier Sanjay Raut had also pushed the young Shiv Sena leader, Aditya Thackeray, for the top post “Maharashtra has got a dynamic youth leader in the form of Aditya and people of all faiths are looking up to him with hope,” he had said.
Similar comments from the Shiv Sena Camp are been seen as pressure tactics by the party to secure a favorable position in the upcoming assembly elections in the state. Currently out of the total 288 elected seats in the assembly BJP holds a total of 125 while its alliance partner Shiv Sena holds 60. With its massive victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections BJP surely has an upper hand both in public support and continued momentum and looking at the current trends BJP under CM Devendra Fadnavis certainly is capable of going ahead in the upcoming electoral contest on its own.
The BJP in Maharashtra has been on an accelerated growth path since the party fared successfully in the 2014 general elections where it managed to win on 23 out of the total 24 Parliamentary constituencies it contested on. What followed this massive victory were negotiations with the alliance partners mainly Shiv Sena for the upcoming state assembly elections the same year, however, failing to reach a seat sharing agreement, BJP went on into the elections without its major alliance partner the Shiv Sena. The BJP without its 25 year old alliance partner faced the assembly elections and emerged victorious on 122 seats which increased after several by polls, seeing a massive jump from just 46 seats last assembly elections. With the maximum number of seats in the assembly and re-negotiated alliance with the Shiv Sena, BJP under the leadership of Devendra Fadnavis took the top post.
In 2019 general elections too, the alliance emerged successful on 41 out of the 48 seats in the state. And now comments by Maharashtra CM only indicate towards the definitive stand of the BJP that it will not give in to any pressure tactics of the Shiv Sena, which is in continuation of BJP’s stand from the last assembly elections in 2014.