Talks are on between the Shiv Sena and the BJP to draw a new seat-sharing formula for the 2014 Assembly elections so that new alliance partners can be accommodated. Sources in the BJP said the party might seek 18 more seats from the Sena to accommodate Republican Party of India, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana and Rashtriya Samaj Party.
In the past, the formula had been Sena 171 seats and BJP 117, though BJP contested 119 seats and Sena 169 in 2009.
In Assembly elections BJP has always conceded more seats to Sena, unlike in Lok Sabha polls when it keeps more seats with itself.
According to the formula being discussed within the party for the 2014 state polls, the BJP wants to contest 135 seats out of the total 288 this time, leaving 153 seats for Sena.
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A final decision will be taken after the two parties decide on swapping of seats.
The two parties may eventually settle for the 135-153 formula, with numerology supporting the numbers.
“If you add up the digits in BJP’s 135, it comes to 9; 153 too adds up to 9,” said a BJP office-bearer.
Senior leaders, however, said they would not stretch the matter beyond a point, indicating some give and take.