Ending weeks of speculation, the ruling NDA constituents - Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party - finally sealed their alliance for the ensuing Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the formula worked out is BJP will contest 25, of the total 48 Lok Sabha seats in the state, and in assembly, after finalizing the share of other alliance partners, the two parties will contest in the 50:50 ratio.
"We have been together for over 25 years because of our shared ideologies and spirit of nationalism. In 2014 elections, owing to certain reasons we had split, but later for the past nearly five years, we are in alliance in Maharashtra and at the centre," Fadnavis said. IANS had first reported the formula that was expected to be finalized this morning.
BJP President Amit Shah and Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, along with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, former Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi and other senior leaders from both sides made the announcement at a joint media briefing late this evening. Fadnavis said: "We are confident of returning to power both in Maharashtra and the Centre based on our exceptional performance for the past five years."
He said the BJP has accepted all major demands of the Sena including expediting the process to construct the Ram temple in Ayodhya, farmers' issues especially pertaining to those who still have to get the benefits of the loan waiver, the problems in implementing the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana to benefit the peasantry. Reacting to the developments, Congress leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil alleged that the Sena was arm-twisted into forging the alliance under threats of Enforcement Directorate (ED) cases.
(With inputs from agencies.)