Shiv Sena, BJP To Contest Polls Together

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Mumbai. After three years of unrestrained attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP, the Shiv Sena has sealed its alliance with the ruling party for the national election due by May and the subsequent assembly elections. The announcement was made following yet another meeting between BJP chief Amit Shah and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray this evening.

Addressing a joint press conference later, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “We have decided to come together for Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections”.

Admitting there were “some differences” between them, Mr Fadnavis hinted that the renewal of the alliance was a matter of political compulsion.

“Today, when in the country some people are coming together and trying to challenge us, the feeling of people and country was also that we should come together,” said the Chief Minister, Amit Shah at his side.

The two parties had a similar ideology and had been in alliance at the centre and the state for the last 25 years, he added, explaining the alliance that has taken several meetings and backroom negotiations even as the Sena kept up its public criticism of its long-time ally.

After three years of unrestrained attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP, the Shiv Sena has sealed its alliance with the ruling party for the national election due by May and the subsequent assembly elections. The announcement was made following yet another meeting between BJP chief Amit Shah and Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray this evening.

Addressing a joint press conference later, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “We have decided to come together for Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections”.

Admitting there were “some differences” between them, Mr Fadnavis hinted that the renewal of the alliance was a matter of political compulsion.

“Today, when in the country some people are coming together and trying to challenge us, the feeling of people and country was also that we should come together,” said the Chief Minister, Amit Shah at his side.

The two parties had a similar ideology and had been in alliance at the centre and the state for the last 25 years, he added, explaining the alliance that has taken several meetings and backroom negotiations even as the Sena kept up its public criticism of its long-time ally.

In the last national election of 2014, the BJP contested 26 and the Sena 22 of Maharashtra’s 48 seats

“Every BJP-Sena worker wanted an alliance,” added Amit Shah, who sat flanked by Devendra Fadnavis and Uddhav Thackeray. “Whatever differences were there, we have decided to end all the bitterness on this table and go ahead.”

The seat-sharing, however, indicates that the BJP has managed to get the coveted position of the big brother in the state – the root of much of the friction. While both parties have agreed to go 50-50 on seats for the assembly elections due later this year, the BJP will contest 25 Lok Sabha seats to the Sena’s 23. Mr Shah claimed the alliance will win 45 seats.

In the last national election of 2014, the BJP contested 26 and the Sena 22 of Maharashtra’s 48 seats. The state sends the most number of lawmakers to parliament after Uttar Pradesh, which has 80.

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