Days after he asserted that the BJP aims to contest 26 out of 48 seats in Maharashtra for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said that discussions with allies would determine the seat-sharing formula.
Stressing the importance of parties retaining constituencies they previously contested, Mr. Fadnavis outlines the ‘basis’ for the forthcoming formula. “Respective parties should get to retain the constituencies they had contested earlier while underlining the “basis” of the seat-sharing formula,” he said.
The tripartite Mahayuti alliance, consisting of BJP, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena, and the Nationalist Congress Party of Ajit Pawar faction, is yet to initiate discussions regarding the seat-sharing arrangement.
Recently, Mr. Pawar said that there have been no discussions regarding seat sharing within the ruling alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. “The Mahayuti government is stable as all 200 MLAs are united, and the State is doing well under the leadership of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde,” he said.
Mr. Fadnavis clarified that the final formula would be based on allocating seats to parties that had contested specific constituencies in the past. “Discussions between allies are yet to begin and a formula would be decided only after the deliberations. The basis of the formula will be: the seats should go to those [parties] who have already contested that particular constituency,” the senior BJP leader said.
He said the seat-sharing formula would not remain static, allowing for necessary changes and discussions with alliance partners. “We will make necessary changes and discuss with the alliance partners,” he said.
Speaking to The Hindu, a senior leader said that the seat-sharing and ‘real campaign’ for the Lok Sabha elections will begin only after the winter session of the State legislature in Nagpur, which will be held in Nagpur from December 7. “A survey has been carried out in each constituency and BJP will have the lion’s share among the alliance,” he said.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP and Shiv Sena (undivided) had jointly contested 41 seats in Maharashtra, securing 23 and 18 seats, respectively.
Support to farmers
Additionally, the Deputy Chief Minister addressed the issue of unseasonal rains affecting farmers’ crops, assuring government assistance. He asked officials in affected districts to conduct a primary assessment of crop losses and assured that the government would extend support to affected farmers.
However, he refrained from commenting on the disqualification pleas of NCP MLAs of the Ajit Pawar faction. “The hearing issue is quasi-judicial and the speaker has the tribunal status. It won’t be appropriate to comment,” he added.
Recently, the Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar factions of the NCP submitted their responses to Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar concerning the disqualification petitions filed against each other.