The BJP and Shiv Sena are still negotiating a seat-sharing deal for next month's assembly election in Maharashtra, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said on Saturday, after it was reported that the two parties have come to an understanding over seat division and the BJP is getting more seats than its ally.
"We will contest together and are going to announce it soon. We have already decided on the alliance. It is just that we are working on the number of seats," Mr Thackeray was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.
Sources told NDTV on Friday that the BJP would contest 144 of the state's 288 seats, whereas the Sena had agreed to contest 126 seats. 18 seats would be allotted to the smaller allies under the seat-sharing deal, sources said, adding the Sena would also get the post of Deputy Chief Minister.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was keen that both parties should contest together this time, sources had said.
The two parties, which were in alliance since 1989, contested the 2014 assembly polls separately after falling out over seat sharing. The BJP later emerged as the single-largest party, but was short of majority. The Sena chipped in with its 63 seats and entered a post-poll partnership.
The Sena and the BJP remained in an uneasy alliance for the next five years, with the Uddhav Thackeray-led party taking potshots at the ruling party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a host of issues.
The Sena has been demanding a 50:50 seat division, but the BJP is not ready to concede half the seats. The BJP leadership believes it will get majority in the state following its stupendous show in the national election.
Elections will be held in Maharashtra on October 21 and the results will be declared on October 24.
With inputs from ANI
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