Thane-Palghar seat-sharing: BJP may lose its presence after poll-pact with Shiv Sena

Mumbai: After Pulwama terror attack, the issues of priorities and conditions to forge an alliance has been changed and in the current situation, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena are likely to announce pre-poll alliance at any time in the upcoming week.

However, if sources from the Sena should be believed, BJP may leave its claim on Palghar Lok Sabha seat in lieu of support from the Sena in ensuing polls. If this would happen, BJP will lose its presence from twin districts — Thane and Palghar forever.

The erstwhile combines Thane district remained a bastion of the BJP till 1995. Till that Rambhau Kapse and Rambhau Mhalgi had represented the Lok Sabha seat from the district since 1970. However, during poll pact between Sena and the BJP in 1995, Sena claimed on Thane which was agreed by then BJP leader Pramod Mahajan.

“After 1995, BJP lost its presence in Thane district. Kalyan-Dombivli, which had an identity of bastion of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has now become a history,” Makrand Muley, an RSS functionary said with a sorrow. He added, “We can see the presence of BJP in both Thane and Palghar district. But, most of the leaders are imported from other parties.

Kapil Patil, Member of Parliament from Bhiwandi was originally from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Palghar MP Rajendra Gavit was a Congressman. If BJP has agreed to leave claim on Palghar for Sena, the BJP will wipe out its presence from this region and Sena will become stronger.” Meanwhile, the senior BJP minister said that the seat sharing talks were going on behind the scenes and the announcement of an alliance with the Sena is expected at any time.

“After Pulwama attack, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will become intact and all allies will stand behind the BJP. This will certainly benefit NDA to retain in power once again after the 2019 polls,” claimed the minister. He added that the pre-poll alliance will be based on development issues, Hindutva, farmers’ issues and avoid division of saffron votes.

Although the Sena has also staked its claim over the CM’s post in Maharashtra, sources in the BJP said that the party is unlikely to accept the demand, arguing that the party that gets the maximum number of seats in the assembly elections shall stake the claim to the post.

Last weekend CM Fadnavis had called on Sena president Uddhav Thackeray at the latter’s Matoshree residence, had to wind up discussions in the wake of Pulwama attacks. As per the seat-sharing agreement for the LS, the BJP is likely to contest 25 and Sena 23 seats, while for the assembly, both will contest 144 seats.

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