"BJP Made Pulwama, Balakot Airstrike Election Issues": Shiv Sena

The BJP and Shiv Sena are locked in an intense negotiation on seat-sharing and a consensus has eluded them till now on how many constituencies each of them will contest.

'BJP Made Pulwama, Balakot Airstrike Election Issues': Shiv Sena

Shiv Sena said BJP won over 300 seats in elections after making Pulwama a poll issue.

Mumbai:

The BJP would not have been able to win over 300 seats in the Lok Sabha polls had it not made the Pulwama terror attack an election issue, the Shiv Sena said today as Maharashtra gears up for elections next month.

"BJP made the Pulwama terror attack and Balakot airstrike election issues (in the Lok Sabha polls). Could the BJP have crossed 300 Lok Sabha seat-mark if the Pulwama attack would not have happened?" Shiv Sena said in its mouthpiece Saamna.

The allies are locked in an intense negotiation on seat-sharing and a consensus has eluded them till now on how many constituencies each of them will contest.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had said on Tuesday that sharing of seats was "bigger exercise" than the partition.

"Maharashtra is a big state. The sharing of 288 seats is a bigger exercise than India-Pakistan partition. Had we sat in Opposition instead of being in government the picture today would have been different," Mr Raut had told news agency ANI.

Mr Raut had said on September 19 that alliance between the two parties could break if Shiv Sena did not get 144 of the 288 seats.

Maharashtra has 288 Assembly seats, of which the BJP won 122 and the Sena 63 in the 2014 state polls, which they fought separately.

The Shiv Sena has maintained the seat-sharing formula was decided during the Lok Sabha elections, where the two parties had a pre-poll alliance.

According to the Uddhav Thackeray-led party, this meant equal distribution of seats and sharing of the chief minister's post for two-and-a-half years each.

Mr Thackeray had last week said that the poll pact would be announced in two days.

The BJP and Shiv Sena contested 2014 state assembly elections separately. However, they joined hands to form the government after the elections as none of them was able to secure the majority on its own.

The counting of votes will take place on October 24.

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