Indian Express

BJP may swap seats with Shiv Sena for Maha Assembly polls

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Buoyed by the resounding victory of the saffron alliance in the Lok Sabha polls, BJP’s State unit on Sunday said that it may swap some seats with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra for the Assembly polls due in October.

“The ‘mahayuti’ (grand alliance) did extremely well in the just-concluded general elections and we did discuss the possibility of swapping some of the seats which are favourable to both the parties. Primary discussions have taken place and there is no dispute on the issue,” BJP state unit president Devendra Fadnavis told reporters.

Citing an example of Nagpur-East assembly constituency, Fadnavis said, “Earlier the seat was with Shiv Sena, but somehow victory had eluded it. When the BJP contested in the last state polls, the party nominee (Krishna Khopde) won by a margin of 34,000.”

Besides BJP and Sena, the ‘mahayuti’ comprises five opposition parties namely Raju Shetty’s Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, Mahadeo Jankar’s Rashtriya Samaj Paksha and the Ramdas Athawale-led Republic Party of India (RPI).

“As per the assembly constituency-wise statistics of the recent Lok Sabha polls results, BJP and Shiv Sena have taken huge leads and it clearly indicates the mood of the electorate in the forthcoming Assembly elections,” the state BJP chief said.

Riding a “Modi wave” and capitalising on anti-incumbency, the BJP-Shiv Sena led alliance dealt a severe blow to the ruling Congress-NCP combine in Maharashtra winning 42 of the 48 seats in the state.

“The saffron alliance got 2.50 crore votes in Maharashtra, which was close of 52 per cent. Out of that BJP got 1.33 crore voters, which was 28 per cent and Sena received one crore votes (21 per cent),” he added.

Amidst reports that the state BJP wants to tap ‘master strategist’ Amit Shah for assembly polls in the state after
party’s good performance in Uttar Pradesh, Fadnavis said Shah would be consulted and his help would be taken whenever required.

He ruled out any tie up with the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) for the assembly elections.

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