Both parties issue joint statement confirming alliance for Assembly.
Mumbai: After several days of uncertainty, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena have finally announced that they would be contesting the Assembly polls together.
Interestingly, both the parties did not make the announcement publicly. Instead, they issued a joint statement declaring their intention to contest the polls together.
A statement, with the signatures of BJP state unit chief Chandrakant Patil and senior Sena leader Subhash Desai, said that the Republican Party of India (A), Rashtriya Samaj Paksh, Shiv Sangram Sanghatna and Rayat Kranti Sena will be the other parties in the ‘Mahayuti’ (grand alliance). The alliance would once again get the blessings from the people of Maharashtra, the statement added.
Mr Patil later confirmed the news saying that chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Sena president Uddhav Thackeray will be announcing the quantum of seat sharing.
According to sources, the seat sharing deal has not been announced due to the possibility of widespread rebellion in both parties. Hence, the seat sharing formula could be announced at a later stage.
The development comes a day after Mr Thackeray handed out mandatory A-B forms — the documents that mention the official party candidate — to his party’s candidates, including to son Aaditya Thackeray.
The two saffron allies had fought the Lok Sabha elections together, winning 41 out of the 48 seats in the state.
However, this will be first time after 2009 that the two parties will contest Assembly polls together.
In the 2014 polls, both parties decided to part ways and had contested separately. While the BJP emerged as the single-largest party with 122 seats, Sena came second with 63 seats.