In a major political twist on Thursday, Shiv Sena and Maharashtra BJP have begun talks on the seat-sharing in the upcoming state Assembly elections in October, as per sources. Sources have reported that BJP has demanded 160 of the 288 seats, to contest polls. This has reportedly irked the Sena which is unhappy with only 110 seats. Sources further report that the final decision will be taken by BJP president Amit Shah, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray.
Sources have shared that the recent meeting was held between senior Shiv Sena leaders Subhash Desai and Prakash Patil with BJP Minister Girish Mahajan. In this meeting, these figures were reportedly zeroed on. Shiv Sena had demanded more seats as they believed that the next Chief Ministerial candidate will be from the Sena. But BJP has firmly stated that it would contest on 160 seats, Shiv Sena on 110 and remaining seats was reserved for smaller ally-parties.
Meanwhile, while addressing a rally in Solapur on Sunday, BJP president announced Fadnavis as the next Maharashtra CM candidate, quelling all rumours. “Devendra Fadnavis deserves another term to take the development work ahead,” said Shah. He was addressing at the culmination rally of the second leg of Fadnavis' ‘Mahajanadesh Yatra’ launched on August 1 by Fadnavis. Touting the Fadnavis-Modi combination in Delhi and Maharashtra, he said that in 2014, it was the duo that took the state on the path of development.
In contrast, Sena has been clamouring around Yuva Sena president Aaditya Thackeray as the next CM candidate. On Saturday, Thackeray's candidacy was confirmed as it was announced that he will be contesting from Mumbai's Worli constituency in the Assembly polls. The announcement was made by Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab to the party cadres, late on Friday. This would be a first for the Thackeray family. While it is Aaditya's first Assembly elections, it is also the first time Thackrey will be contesting for Assembly polls.
Sena leaders have been demanding for Aaditya as CM candidate throughout the year inspite of the issue being discussed by Fadnavis and Uddhav Thackeray. Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant iterated the party's stance and said that Aaditya Thackeray is the rising sun and that Maharashtra needs him. Previously, Manohar Joshi too demanded to make Aaditya Thackeray as CM candidate citing that he possessed all the qualities to lead the state. Sena's Rajya Sabha MO and Saamna editor Sanjay Raut too had said that Maharashtra needs a young CM like Aaditya Thackeray. He said that they believed that the people of Maharashtra will accept Aaditya as their CM.