After Bihar, BJP's focus now on Maharashtra and its alliance with Shiv Sena
New Delhi, Dec 24: As the alliance for 2019 Lok Sabha elections were finalised in Bihar, the focus of the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership will be on Maharashtra where it must do something to mend ties with the Shiv Sena, one of the oldest allies of the BJP.
The BJP and Shiv Sena contested 2014 elections together but they had gone separately in the subsequent Assembly elections in the same year. Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah has recently said that both the parties would contest elections in the state together. Even Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that it is advisable for both the parties to contest the Lok Sabha elections together.
Fadnavis further said that in view of the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party already declared their alliance, it becomes all the more important to contest election together. It would be unwise to contest elections alone. Talks are doing rounds and the responsibility of alliance in Maharashtra is on Fadnavis.
Political analysts say that there is no doubt about it that if the Shiv Sena and the BJP go alone in Maharashtra, it is clear that they will not do good in the state. The BJP still has chances of getting some seats in the state but the Shiv Sena which has its limits and spread in certain areas of the state will be wiped out. It has the chances of drawing zero.
Sources in the BJP said that the party will try hard to take the Shiv Sena along but it is prepared for any eventuality the way it had gone alone in the 2014 Assembly elections. The Shiv Sena must understand two things one there are certain common voters for both the parties and in case both the parties contest separately the vote will go to the party which has the better chances of winning; second the Shiv Sena is no more an organisation of the time of Bala Saheb Thackrey with its offshoot Maharashtra Navnirman Sena led by Raj Thackeray too contesting elections in the state.
Now, the BJP wants to finalise alliance one states after another and Maharashtra being an important state with certain issues still remaining to be addressed. The BJP is getting ready with with its plans in the state. It has already played the Maratha reservation card in the state and in worst situation, it might go alone. The party has an alliance partner Republican Party of India led by Ramdas Athawale.
Out of total 48 seats in Maharashtra, the BJP has 23 Lok Sabha members from the state, the Shiv Sena has 18, Nationalist Congress Party has 4 while the Congress has just two seats. There is one seat with Swabhimani Paksha. The BJP has 122 seats in the Assembly, the Shiv Sena has 62, the Congress has 42 and the NCP has 41 out of 288 total seats in the Maharashtra Assembly.