Predicts alliance will win 200 plus of which Sena to bag 100 seats

Barely few hours before the counting of votes for the assembly election, Shiv Sena, which is no more a big brother in Maharashtra politics, on Wednesday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party will not be able to form the government without Sena’s participation. Shiv Sena MP and party chief Uddhav Thackeray’s close confidant Sanjay Raut argued that even though BJP wins few more seats compared to Shiv Sena the latter’s involvement is must for the formation of new governments and also for its smooth functioning

‘’Shiv Sena and BJP will have no alternative but to keep its alliance intact for the government formation. The saffron alliance is set to win more than 200 of the total 288 seats in the state. Of which Shiv Sena alone will win 100 seats,’’ Raut said. He indicated that the alliance will not break but will continue even after the poll results.

Raut recalled that in the 2014 assembly election BJP and Shiv Sena fought separately. The BJP, which had won 122 seats, just 22 less than the halfway mark, and later tied up with Shiv Sena to form government. The Sena had won 63 seats.

Raut’s statement comes six days after BJP president and union home minister in an interview to TV channels had said his party, which is fighting on 164 seats, could get enough seats to form the government on its own. Shah said, “Yes, we can go that far. It is not impossible.”

ON Shiv Sena’s demand for deputy chief ministership, Shah hinted that his party is open to the idea of offering the post to its ally. But he made it clear that Devendra Fadnavis will continue as Maharashtra CM if NDA comes to power in the state.

In the 2019 assembly election, BJP simply junked Shiv Sena’s 144:144 seat sharing formula. Ultimately, BJP with its allies are contesting 164 seats while Shiv Sena on 124 seats only. Despite efforts by senior leaders, BJP and Shiv Sena rebels had challenged the nomination of official nominees in about 65 seats.

Meanwhile, taking a swipe at BJP, Raut said what was the need for raking up issues such as abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and construction of Ram temple in the state assembly election. He observed that the voters in the Lok Sabha election had voted BJP and Shiv Sena on these issues and said that the assembly election could have fought on different issues including drought, price rise and unemployment.