The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena are likely to announce seat sharing pact for Maharashtra Assembly elections today. The announcement is scheduled on Sunday as the day marks the beginning of nine-day long Navratri festival. According to sources, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was keen for the both parties to contest the Maharashtra Assembly Elections together this time. Elections for 288 assembly seats in Maharashtra will be held on October 21 and the results will be declared on October 24.
"BJP and Shiv Sena have agreed to the seat sharing formula. BJP will contest 144 seats while Shive Sena will field candidates on 126 seats. 18 seats have been allotted to the other allies. Shiv Sena will get the post of the Deputy Chief Minister in the next government," sources said.
The seat sharing arrangement was sealed after an 8-hour-long meeting of the BJP's Maharashtra Core Group on Thursday. BJP chief Amit Shah and Working President JP Nadda took a call on the seat sharing issue after the meeting. The meeting was attended by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Pankaja Munde, Sudhir Munghantiwar and Girish Mahajan.
Shiv Sena has been demanding for a 50:50 seat sharing agreement.
In 2014, the Sena and the BJP had ended their alliance ahead of the state elections. However, they joined the BJP-led government after the results. The BJP had turned out to be the single largest party, but fell far short of a majority.
Amid delay in seat-sharing pact with the BJP, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has convened a key meeting on Saturday to discuss the party's preparations for the October 21 assembly polls in Maharashtra. Prominent Sena leaders, office-bearers and ticket aspirants attended the meeting in Mumbai.
Party sources said the Sena is making preparations to contest all the 288 assembly seats in case its alliance talks with the BJP collapse. The Sena meet comes in the background of BJP leaders from the state holding discussion with the central leadership on Thursday in New Delhi to assess poll preparedness for all the seats.