BJP and Shiv Sena have sealed the alliance after the final stages of seat-sharing negotiations were discussed between the two parties ahead of Lok Sabha elections that are due by May 2019, as per sources. The sources have also revealed the seat-sharing formula agreed by the two saffron parties.
Maharashtra has in total 48 seats in its kitty, the formula of 25-23 will be opted by the two parties.
BJP will contest in 25 seats whereas Shiv Sena will fight to gain the other 23 seats.
However, there are chances that Shiv Sena might get an upper hand in assembly elections. With 48 seats, Maharashtra sends the most number of lawmakers to parliament after Uttar Pradesh, which has 80.
Negotiations between the BJP and the Shiv Sena for settling the terms and conditions for continuing an alliance began on Sunday when Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis called on Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at Matoshri. BJP president Amit Shah and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray are likely to address a joint press conference to announce a tie-up that has taken several meetings and backroom negotiations even as the Sena has kept up its public criticism of its long-time ally.
Earlier on February 14, in what came as a major turn of events in the ongoing alliance negotiations between the Shiv Sena and the BJP, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party stated a startling condition for its national ally.
Sena MP Sanjay Raut demanded that if Narendra Modi is to be the Prime Minister of India in the event that the NDA returns to power after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, then the Maharashtra Chief Minister must be from the Shiv Sena.While the Sena and the BJP are in power together at the Centre, the state and the BMC, only the latter is officially led by a Sena politician.
They have to lose something to achieve something, Sanjay Raut has said, reiterating that the Shiv Sena is ready to contest the upcoming elections solo if need be. He has also proclaimed that the Sena is still the 'big brother' in the state of Maharashtra.
The two parties have been allies for over two decades - a period during which the BJP has grown into a dominant force in Indian politics. In recent months, the Sena and BJP relationship has appeared strained, with the Shiv Sena attacking its ally at every given opportunity, and the latter choosing to not reply in kind while negotiations are ongoing. Olive branches have been extended to the Sena on issues such as a Bal Thackeray memorial and others, even as the Sena has been unsparing on the BJP on a range of matters, especially over the construction of the Ram Mandir.