BJP-Led MahaYuti Begins Talks on Seat-Sharing for Maharashtra Assembly Polls

Mumbai, 9th July 2024: The BJP-led MahaYuti has commenced discussions on seat-sharing for the upcoming assembly election, with a senior source from the saffron party indicating to The Free Press Journal on Monday that NCP leader Ajit Pawar may be inclined to accept fewer seats.

Seat-Sharing Arrangements:

According to sources, the BJP is likely to stake claim to 120 seats, while Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena could secure anywhere from 80 to 90 seats. The BJP aims to adopt an assertive stance in the forthcoming assembly polls scheduled for the latter half of October, eyeing more than 120 out of the total 288 seats in the assembly.

Presently, the BJP holds 103 seats in the House, followed by Shiv Sena with 40 and NCP with 39. A BJP leader familiar with recent discussions among MahaYuti leaders indicated that Ajit Pawar was willing to compromise on seat allocation, provided he receives assurances regarding his continuation as Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister in the event of a MahaYuti victory.

Meanwhile, the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) appears to have tentatively agreed on a three-way division, potentially allocating around 95 seats each to the Congress, Shiv Sena (UBT), and NCP (SP). The arrangement suggests Uddhav Thackeray could secure more seats in Mumbai, Konkan, and Marathwada, while the Congress and NCP focus on Vidarbha and western Maharashtra, respectively.

Leadership Under CM Eknath Shinde:

Although the MahaYuti has reiterated its commitment to contest under Eknath Shinde’s leadership, discussions indicate that should the alliance secure victory, the BJP would likely pursue the Chief Minister’s position. The BJP perceives that contesting 120 or more seats could potentially restore its status as the largest party in the assembly.

A notable development this election cycle is the inclusion of Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in the alliance, expected to vie for between 12 to 18 seats.