Seat-sharing formula will be same as that in 2019, says Shinde group; BJP avers no decision taken yet

Mumbai, May 26 (PTI) The seat-sharing arrangement between the Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party will be the same as that in 2019, senior Sena leader Gajanan Kirtikar said on Friday.

The BJP, on the other hand, said no decision had been taken on the issue yet.
The Sena, which was then undivided, and the BJP had contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in alliance.

“Shiv Sena contested 22 seats (out of 48) last time and won 18, and BJP contested 26 and won 23. The arrangement will be the same this time. We have already started preparations (for the 2024 polls),” Kirtikar told reporters here.

Of 18 Lok Sabha members of the Shiv Sena from Maharashtra, 13 owe allegiance to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and five belong to the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction.

Sena spokesperson and state education minister Deepak Kesarkar too said elsewhere that his party hoped that the seat-sharing formula will remain unchanged.

But BJP leader and culture minister Sudhir Mungantiwar maintained that no formula has been worked out yet.

“No BJP leader has said that Eknath Shinde’s demands will not be accepted. Shinde joined hands with the BJP to provide a government that works to protect the interests of people. His demands would be respected. BJP has high regard for the Shiv Sena led by Balasaheb Thackeray earlier and now by Eknath Shinde,” he told reporters at the Raj Bhavan.
Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will sit together and take a decision on seat-sharing for the Lok Sabha as well as Assembly elections, the BJP leader added.