Ending months of speculation, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena have finally sealed an alliance for the Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Assembly elections. BJP chief Amit Shah and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, along with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, made the announcement at a joint media briefing on Monday evening. The BJP will contest 25 seats and Shiv Sena 23 of 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra. The two parties will contest an equal number of seats, along with their other allies, in elections for the 288-member state Assembly, due this year.
"We have been together for over 25 years because of our shared ideologies and spirit of nationalism. In 2014 elections, owing to certain reasons we had split, but later since the past nearly five years we are in alliance in Maharashtra and at the Centre," Fadnavis said.
The Ram temple has been the common thread for an alliance between BJP and Shiv Sena, Thackeray said. It has to be built at the earliest, he added. â€œBJP and Sena are parties with national ideology which have come together in wider public interest, Fadnavis said. In principle, both the parties are pro-Hindutva,â€ the Shiv Sena chief said.Â
Earlier in January last year, the Sena had announced its decision of going solo in future elections. However, the two parties contested some Legislative Council seats with mutual understanding, a BJP leader said. The Sena has been regularly hitting out at its ally BJP on various issues over the last few years.
The two parties had parted ways ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections. The BJP and Shiv Sena had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections jointly.Â Â
However, the BJP had parted ways with the Sena ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections held later that year. The BJP had then won 122 seats in the state while the Sena could bag only 63.
Check all the updates here:
20:22 pm:Â I am confident that in Lok Sabha elections, BJP and Shiv Sena will together win 45 out of total 48 seats in Maharashtra: Amit Shah
20:21 pm: We are hopeful those issues won't come up again: Thackeray
20: 20 pm:Â People are seeing Shiv Sena and BJP for past 30 years. For 25 years, we stood united, & for 5 years, there was confusion. But like CM said, I still provided guidance to government from time to time: Thackeray
20:19 pm:Â State assembly elections are also in four months, seats are divided equally for it. Responsibilities will also be divided in half: Thackeray
20:18 pm:Â Maharashtra CM has kept forward all the important things in this press conference. I don't think I need to add anything. Before going any further, I pay my tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives in Pulwama attack: Uddhav Thackeray.
20:15 pm:Â BJP agreed to one of Sena's condition - that those staying in houses measuring less than 500 sq ft will not be taxed: Fadnavis.
20: 13 pm:Â For Maharashtra assembly elections, we will hold discussions with our other allies. Leaving the numbers of seats taken by our allies, BJP and Shiv Sena will fight on equal number of seats:Â Devendra Fadnavis
20: 10 pm:Â We have taken this decision in the interest of the nation and we believe NDA will come to power in 2019: Devendra Fadnavis.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis: We have taken this decision in the interest of the nation and we believe NDA will come to power in 2019 pic.twitter.com/JW1pxnCMZHâ€” ANI (@ANI) February 18, 2019
20:05 pm:Â Shiv Sena will fight on 23 seats and BJP will fight on 25 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
20: 02 pm:Â Farmers who have been left out of the loan waiver scheme, their cases will be studied again.
20:01 pm:Â We have tried to acquire 67 acres land for temple trust: Devendra Fadnavis
20:00 pm:Â Uddhav Thackeray has urged that Ram Temple should be built in Ayodhya. BJP supports this thought completely.Â
19:55 pm:Â BJP-Shiv Sena both are Hindutvawadi parties... Parties which share similar national interests, must come together. We have decided to contest LS and State polls together: Devendra Fadnavis.
19:50 pm:Â Amit Shah, Uddhav Thackeray, Devendra Fadnavis begin press conference over seat-sharing.
18:40 pm:Â Amit Shah reaches Matoshri.
18: 30 pm: The joint press conference is likely to begin soon.
18: 05 pm:Â The BJP had won 122 seats in the state while the Sena could bag only 63 in Assembly elections.
18: 00 pm: The two parties had parted ways ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections.
17: 30 pm: The BJP and Shiv Sena had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections jointly.
17: 10 pm:Â BJP leaders Chandrakant Patil, Pankaja Munde, Vinod Tawde, Piyush Goyal and others are present at the meeting.
17:00 pm:Â BJP chief Amit Shah begins meeting with party workers at Sofitel Mumbai BKC hotel.Â
16:55 pm: BJP Amit Shah reaches Mumbai Airport.