Uddhav: Sena-BJP alliance announcement in two dayshttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/maharashtra-assembly-elections-uddhav-sena-bjp-alliance-announcement-in-two-days-6015175/

Uddhav: Sena-BJP alliance announcement in two days

Amit Shah is expected to arrive in Mumbai on Sunday and the seat-sharing deal may be announced in his presence.

Uddhav: Sena-BJP alliance announcement in two days
In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, the two parties had decided that both would contest equal number of seats in the Assembly polls. (Source: File)

SHIV SENA chief Uddhav Thackeray said on Friday that a formal announcement on the seat-sharing arrangement between his party and the BJP would be made in the next two days.

In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year, the two parties had decided that both would contest equal number of seats in the Assembly polls. However, in the past few days, BJP leaders have indicated that the Sena may have to be content with a lesser number of seats. Senior Sena leaders, including Transport Minister Diwakar Raote, had earlier this week claimed that the party would call off the alliance in such a situation.

Speaking to mediapersons after holding a meeting with senior party leaders, Uddhav said: “It was the media that had spread reports that both parties will contest 135 seats each. Before the Lok Sabha elections, the details of the seat-sharing pact was worked out by me, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and (BJP national president) Amit Shah. Things will be clear about the alliance in the next two days.”

Shah is expected to arrive in Mumbai on Sunday and the seat-sharing deal may be announced in his presence.

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The uncertainty has caused some tensions between BJP and Sena.

Uddhav had earlier this week claimed that the Aarey Metro car shed in Mumbai would go the Nanar refinery way. The Sena, which had forced the BJP to scrap the refinery project in Ratnagiri district’s Nanar last year, is also opposed to the car shed being constructed on Aarey land. A day after Uddhav made the Aarey-Nanar comparison, Fadnavis had indicated that his government could revive the project.

On Friday, Uddhav said: “We are not opposed to development work. We have not opposed the Metro car shed as well. We are only opposing the obstinacy, which is being shown in building the car shed only in Aarey and no other place.”

He also countered Fadnavis’ claim of building the refinery in Nanar, saying that local people were still opposed to the project. “We are opposing the Nanar project for the sake of the local people. I believed then, and even now, that the people do not want the project to be located there,” Uddhav added.

Shiv Sena has been demanding that a Ram temple be constructed in Ayodhya. On Monday, Uddhav had demanded that the Centre take a “courageous decision” to bring in a law to build the temple. However, in a jibe, the PM on Thursday had said the Supreme Court is hearing the case and asked “some loudmouths” to refrain from making statements on the issue.

Uddhav on Friday countered the PM by claiming that he was voicing the opinion of the Hindus in the country. “I was not indulging in politicking. I was just voicing what is there in the minds of countless Hindus. We have faith in the courts but this case has gone on far too long.”

He added that he may visit Ayodhya once more before the Assembly elections. Uddhav had visited Ayodhya, along with 18 of his MPs, after the Lok Sabha elections.