Mumbai: In a first indication of the new fault lines and that all is not well with the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance, the newly appointed BJP State President Chandrakant Patil has said that the seat sharing formula between them is not yet finalised.
He also made it clear that both parties can claim the seats won by them in the 2014 Assembly elections, which essentially means that the Shiv Sena cannot demand seats won by the BJP. This statement is expected to create new misgivings in the saffron alliance.
Immediately after taking charge as BJP President, Patil had said that every issue, including seat sharing, has been finalised at the level of BJP National President Amit Shah, the Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
But within 24 hours, he took an abrupt U-turn on this stand. This statement is considered as a strong signal to the Shiv Sena which is treating it as an established fact that the seat sharing formula will be 50-50.
When asked about the Shiv Sena’s claim, Patil, while addressing media persons at Solapur, rejected it and made it clear that no such seat sharing formula has been finalised.
“The formula should be that the BJP and the Shiv Sena can claim seats where they are in power,” explained Patil. But the politically loaded statement does not augur well for the alliance.
It may also mean that the Shiv Sena cannot claim the seats which were won by the BJP in 2014 elections. The BJP won 122 and the Shiv Sena 63 seats.
In 2014, both parties fought against each other. Due to the Modi wave, the BJP won the seats which were considered as a strong bastion of the Shiv Sena.
In the light of Patil’s statement, one can interpret that the Shiv Sena now cannot reclaim seats which they have won or contested in alliance before 2014. It will be interesting to see how the Sena respond to this.