New Delhi, June 8: The growing dissent between the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena over the 2019 Lok Sabha elections came to a consensus during Wednesday’s meeting between their chiefs Amit Shah and Uddhav Thackeray. However, the discussion again found a dead end as the issue of sharing of seats for the Maharashtra Assembly seats, which is due next year after the general elections, remained a bone of contention between the two parties. Also Read - Amit Shah Discharged From AIIMS, Likely to Attend Parliament on Sept 21
Times of India, in its report, cited a senior BJP cabinet member saying that while the two parties agreed jointly contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, they couldn’t find a consensus over sharing of seats for the assembly elections, following which the meeting between Shah and Thackeray had to be adjourned. Also Read - Kangana Ranaut Says She Felt 'Raped' at The Hands of BMC And Shiv Sena Because of Emotional Trauma Caused to Her
The party member said that since BJP and Shiv Sena had won 185 out of the 288 assembly seats in 2014 state elections, the debate over sharing of seats should be restricted to the remaining 103 seats. Also Read - 'I Am With BJP-RSS Now, Will Control 'Goondagardi' Says Ex-Navy Officer Madan Sharma Who Was Attacked by Shiv Sena
Before the 2014 Lok Sabha and state elections, the two allies had agreed on the condition that the chief minister would be from the one that secures more seats. In 1995, Shiv Sena, who had fought on 171 seats, had secured more seats than BJP, who had contested 117 seats. As per the agreement, Manohar Joshi, a leader of Shiv Sena, was elected as the CM.
The cabinet member said that since 2014, BJP’s performance under the leadership of CM Devendra Fadnavis has been remarkable, asserting that as a result, the saffron party bagged the largest number of seats in local body elections in the state. He further claimed that the BJP will not contest less than 122 seats in the assembly polls, scheduled to be held after the Lok Sabha elections next year.
The report further cited him saying that during Wednesday’s meeting, the Sena leadership was alarmed of the fact that if BJP and Shiv Sena do not go hand in hand in 2019 assembly polls and Congress and NCP joined hands, the alliance would surely be dethroned in the state.
Neither side has made any official statement about the meeting, which lasted for about two hours.
However, the Shiv Sena seems adamant on contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections alone. The decision was reiterated by Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut on Thursday. “We know what the agenda of Amit Shah ji is but Shiv Sena has passed a resolution that we’ll contest all upcoming elections on our own. There will be no change in that resolution,” he said.
According to news agency PTI, the meeting between Shah and Thackeray was a positive one, and there could be two or three more such meetings.
Amit Shah’s meeting with Uddhav Thackeray is a part of his initiative to reach out to its allies and keep them intact for the upcoming political battle. This has gained pace especially after the BJP failed to form a government in Karnataka and a disappointing show in the recently-concluded bypolls on four Lok Sabha and 10 Assembly seats across the country. The saffron party is now facing the challenge of a probable united opposition front in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.