After weeks of negotiations over seat-sharing, the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena are expected to finally announce their seat-sharing arrangement for upcoming Maharashtra Assembly poll on Sunday. Sources told Zee Media that Central Election Committee of BJP is scheduled to meet in New Delhi on Sunday and it is likely that the BJP leaders would seal the seat-sharing arrangement during the meeting which will also be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP working president J P Nadda and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Though the BJP is yet to make any comments on the seat-sharing arrangement, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday said that his party will contest the upcoming election in alliance with the BJP. Sources told Zee Media that the Sena chief is willing to accept the deal put forward by the BJP.
Sources said that the BJP is unwilling to give more than 120 seats to Shiv Sena in 288-member Maharashtra Assembly. Interestingly, Sena has repeatedly maintained that it will not settle down for less than 126 seats and the position of deputy chief minister. But Uddhav's statement on Saturday sent a clear message that Sena has decided to climb down from its earlier stand and it will accept the formula put on the table by the BJP.
It is expected that BJP will contest on 160 seats, Sena on 120 and remaining 8 seats will be left for other partners in the alliance. Sources said that both parties are also expected to release the first list of their candidates after finalising the seat-sharing deal.
Sources close to BJP said that the party has gained a lot of ground in Maharashtra in the last five years and the internal survey of the party has revealed that it could 170 out of 288 seats on its own if the saffron party decides to snap ties with Sena and go solo in the election. This is seen as the main reason why Shiv Sena has decided to accept BJP as the 'big brother' in the alliance.
Meanwhile, the Congress and NCP have already announced a seat-sharing agreement for Maharashtra polls, where both the parties would be contesting on 125 seats each in the 288-member Assembly.