On Saturday when BJP president Amit Shah spoke of the saffron alliance winning 45 out of 48 seats in Maharashtra, his colleague and Maharashtrea Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis struck a contrary note, when he said that the BJP would contest all the 48 seats in the State on its own strength.
Ruling out the possibility of a tie-up with the Shiv Sena, Fadnavis – who shared the party platform with Shah — said in Pune said: “The BJP will contest all the 48 seats in the state. We will win all the three seats – Pune, Shirur and Baramati – this belt. We are confident that Lotus will bloom in Baramati ( the home constituency of Pawats) this time”.
Fadnavis’ statement should be seen in the light of the delay in the commencement of the seat-sharing talks with the Shiv Sena. On January 28, both the Shiv Sena and BJP had indicated that they might contest the Lok Sabha polls as an alliance. However, there has not been much of a movement in terms of ground breaking for seat sharing talks between them.
It may be recalled that in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls which the two saffron parties had contested as an alliance, the BJP and Shiv Sena had contested 26 and 22 seats respectively in the State. The two parties had put up a spectacular performance in the polls by together winning 40 seats (BJP-22 and Sena-18 seats) out of total 48 seats.