BJP won over 300 seats in LS polls after making Pulwama a poll issue: Shiv Sena

Mumbai: With their seat-sharing for Maharashtra assembly polls yet to reach a conclusion, the Shiv Sena on Wednesday said BJP would not have won over 300 seats in the Lok Sabha polls had it not made the Pulwama terror attack an election issue.

"BJP made the Pulwama terror attack and Balakot airstrike election issues (in the Lok Sabha polls). Could the BJP have crossed 300 Lok Sabha seat-mark if the Pulwama attack would not have happened?" Shiv Sena said in its mouthpiece Saamna. On Opposition's allegation concerning Army chief General Bipin Rawat's remarks over Pakistan "reactivating" Balakot terror camp months after it was hit by the IAF over Pulwama terror attack, the party said that it does not feel that Gen Rawat's remarks were influenced by political motives.

However, it said that Gen Rawat's remarks affected the "political environment". The two parties have not declared their seat-sharing alliance due to apparent differences over the number of seats each party will contest. The assembly polls in the state will be held on October 21. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had said on Tuesday that sharing of seats was "bigger exercise" than the Partition.

"Maharashtra is a big state. The sharing of 288 seats is a bigger exercise than India-Pakistan partition. Had we sat in Opposition instead of being in govt the picture today would have been different," Raut had told ANI. Raut had said on September 19 that alliance between the two parties could break if Shiv Sena did not get 144 of the 288 seats.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had said on September 20 that the poll pact would be announced in two days. The BJP and Shiv Sena contested 2014 state assembly elections separately. However, they joined hands to form the government after the elections as none of them was able to secure the majority on its own. The counting of votes will take place on October 24.

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