File Photo
File Photo

Mumbai: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, wants to keep alliance with the Shiv Sena intact for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, despite Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s strong demands. Sena has asked for the post of Chief Minister in the latest round of talks.

Going by the mood, it seems, Sena will go solo in the forthcoming LS polls. According to senior Sena minister, the party has placed strong conditions before BJP leadership. They have demanded chief ministerial post if BJP needs its help to retain power at the Centre. Sena chief Uddhav is holding Lok Sabha constituency-wise meeting of party leaders and district presidents, Shakha prumaukhs to review political situation in each constituency. As of now, review of Konkan division has been finished. On Tuesday, Thackeray held meeting with party cadre from constituencies within limit of Mumbai. According to the minister, Thackeray has directed his party cadres to be ready to contest the ensuing Lok Sabha, Assembly elections in 2019 solo.

He further opined, in all probability the BJP will go for simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Maharashtra along with the assembly elections of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh. Sena president Thackeray has already begun taking Lok Sabha constituency wise review meetings at Sena Bhavan. Sources in the Sena said, “Before the party is likely to finalise the names of it’s Lok Sabha candidates before the Ganesh festival beginning from September 13. The party is most likely to renominate it’s sitting 18 Lok Sabha members, and is also short-listing potential candidates for the other 30 Lok Sabha seats in the event if the poll alliance with BJP for Lok Sabha snaps.”

The Sena minister said, “The political scenario for the BJP has now turned hostile and now has realised the need for allies. “BJP president Amit Shah is now in constant touch with Thackeray. The BJP is sending feelers for an alliance. They want us (Sena) to support us for retaining power in New Delhi and do whatever you want in Maharashtra. We have staked claim for the Chief Ministers post and the same old seat sharing formula”, added the Sena minister.

Earlier this year in January at Sena’s national executive, Thackeray had announced the decision that the Sena will contest all future elections on its own. Meanwhile, a senior BJP union minister from Maharashtra while speaking on conditions of anonymity expressed optimism that the Sena-BJP will have pre-poll alliance on the issue of Hindutva. Asked if there is no alliance, the BJP minister added even if the two do not have an alliance it will affect the electoral prospects of opposition NCP. Either ways, it will be a set back for the opposition Congress, NCP.

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Free Press Journal