MUMBAI: Ending days of uncertainty, the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena may announce an alliance on Friday for contesting the upcoming assembly election in Maharashtra together. The two parties had in the recent past said that they will contest the assembly election in Maharashtra together.
According to reports, the announcement on the BJP-Shiv Sena seat-sharing pact for Maharashtra is likely to be made at 5 pm at a joint press conference of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai.
The two parties have so far failed to reach a seat-sharing pact for Maharashtra and an announcement on the same has been delayed amidst intense haggling over the number of seats and due to 'shraddha paksha' period, which many believe an 'inauspicious' period to do new things.
The 'paksha' or the fortnight period ended on September 28.
Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had earlier held talks with Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah and hinted that an announcement on the seat-sharing deal will be made soon.
While addressing party workers and ticket aspirants in Bandra, Uddhav Thackeray recalled the "promise" he had made to his late father Bal Thackeray to install a 'Shiv Sainik' (party worker) as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
Uddhav Thackeray's statement comes against the backdrop of BJP top brass repeatedly stressing that incumbent CM Devendra Fadnavis would helm the state once again.
The Shiv Sena has projecting Uddhav Thackeray's son Aaditya, who had on Thursday filed nomination from the Worli seat, as the chief ministerial face in the event of the NDA returning to power once again after the next month's assembly polls.
Speaking about the alliance with the BJP, Uddhav Thackeray said, "If the deal with BJP materialises, the Sena will not backstab. Sena never backstabs. We oppose openly".
"I want power in Maharashtra so I have called aspirants from all the 288 seats. I want to strengthen the Sena in all the constituencies. If the alliance with BJP happens, Shiv Sena will work to ensure BJP's victory in the seats they contest. BJP's support should always be there for Sena candidates where they contest," he added.
Sources earlier claimed that Shiv Sena had accepted the BJP's offer of 126 seats. As per the pre-poll alliance, the BJP would contest on 144 seats, while the remaining 18 seats will be given to other alliance partners, sources said.
However, a formal announcement of the seat-sharing formula is yet to be made.
If the alliance comes back to power, the BJP will keep the CM's post, which is likely to be retained by incumbent CM Devendra Fadnavis, and give the deputy CM post to Shiv Sena.
In 2014 polls, Shiv Sena had contested on 282 seats and won 63, while the BJP had contested on 260 and scored a victory on 122.
The main opposition to the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in 2019 polls will the Congress and NCP, which have also forged a pre-poll tie-up.
The polling is scheduled to take place on October 21 and the results will be declared on October 24.