MahaYuti to hold seat-sharing meeting with Amit Shah on Thursday

Mumbai, march 20 (IANS) The ruling MahaYuti partners in Maharashtra — the BJP, Shiv Sena, and the NCP — will hold a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday over the seat-sharing agreement in the state for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Thursday’s meeting is important as the filing of nominations for the five Lok Sabha seats in the Vidarbha region that will go to the polls in the first phase on April 19 commenced on Wednesday, with the BJP having already fielded Union Minister Nitin Gadkari from Nagpur, and state Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar from the Chandrapur Lok Sabha constituency.

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will lead the BJP’s delegation, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will lead the Shiv Sena faction, while Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar will head the NCP team for the meeting with the Union Home Minister.

Although the three parties have held a series of talks, they are yet to reach a consensus on seat-sharing arrangements.

Thursday’s meeting comes two days after Amit Shah met Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray in the national capital on Tuesday.

Maharashtra NCP chief Sunil Tatkare confirmed Thursday’s meeting, as he hoped that an honourable seat-sharing arrangement will be worked out among the three ruling allies.

Tatkare also said that his party is in favour of getting 7-9 seats, adding that the seat-sharing deal is expected to be announced soon, as March 27 is the last date for filing nominations for the first phase of polling.

On one point, the three alliance partners are on the same page, i.e., the target of winning 45-plus seats in Maharashtra which has 48 Lok Sabha constituencies.

The BJP has been in favour of fielding its candidates in 26-31 seats, while the Shiv Sena is adamant on its demand for 18 seats.

Sources privy to these discussions said that the BJP and the Shiv Sena may exchange some seats, while the NCP has staked its claim on a few seats presently represented by the Shiv Sena.




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