Mumbai: Amidst growing suspense over the seat-sharing deal between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena for upcoming Maharashtra elections, Shiv Sena leader Shiv Raut Tuesday said that the task of distributing seats between both the parties is tougher than India-Pakistan partition.

However, he asserted that once the decision is taken on the seat-sharing arrangement, it will be conveyed to the media.

“Maharashtra is so huge. This division of 288 seats is more difficult than the partition of India and Pakistan,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said.

Sanjay Raut added, “If we were in the opposition instead of being in government, then the picture would have been different. Whatever decision will be taken on seat-sharing will be immediately conveyed to the media.”

Maharashtra BJP Chief Chandrakant Patil confirmed that discussion on the alliance is at the last stage. “Those who are thinking that alliance will not happen are going to be disappointed,” he added.

“I am confident that we will get 220 seats in the upcoming assembly elections,” Patil stated.

This comes amid reports of a rift between the BJP and Shiv Sena over the pre-poll alliance.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had earlier exuded confidence on him winning the polls, and retaining his post as the CM. “I am saying with no uncertainty that we will contest the Assembly polls along with Shiv Sena. The seat-sharing talks are still on, do not trust the reports,” Fadnavis had said while speaking at the India Today Conclave.

It must be noted that no formal announcement on the seat-sharing has been made so far, even though, both parties said that the deal will be made known soon.

The alliance was initially set to be announced publicly on or before BJP chief Amit Shah’s Mumbai visit on September 22.

The coalition is likely to use the same strategy as used during by NDA alliance during Lok Sabha polls, and is banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to draw all votes towards the party with the additional support of the perceived clean image of CM Fadnavis.

Maharashtra will go for a single-phase election on October 21. Counting of votes will take place on October 24.