Maharashtra: BJP may contest in 30 seats but seat-sharing talks with Shiv Sena, NCP to continue

Amit Shah held meetings with Eknath Shinde, Ajit Pawar in Mumbai

PTI03_05_2024_000365B Home Minister Amit Shah with Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar | PTI

The BJP is likely to put up candidates in 30-32 seats in Maharashtra in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections where the party is in an alliance with Shiv Sena and NCP.

Senior BJP leader and Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with Shiv Sena chief Eknath Shinde and NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Wednesday and though a final decision was not reached, the consensus was that BJP would field candidates in 30-32 seats. While 12-13 will go for Shinde-led Shiv Sena, Ajit Pawar group will get five seats.

Sources with Maharashtra BJP told THE WEEK that Amit Shah is said to have told all three leaders, including Chief Ministers Shinde and Deputy Chief Ministers Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar that the target was 45 seats in the state. Urging the allies to work together and keep egos aside, Shah also called for a practical approach, which centres on supporting the party which has the strongest chance to win. 

Shah is said to have told the trio not to get stuck on "we had won this seat last time, so we want to contest this time too" idea. He added that seats could get changed depending on elective merit and only candidates who have the maximum chance of winning need to be fielded.

Shah's remarks came as both Shiv Sena and NCP sought more seats for themselves in the upcoming elections.

Meanwhile, reports have emerged that Union Minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari is likely to be fielded from Nagpur for the third time while Pankaja Munde, BJP's national secretary and daughter of party veteran late Gopinath Munde, may also contest from the state. State BJP chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule's name is being circulated for the Wardha constituency. There are also speculations that the BJP may choose about 10 new faces for the Maharashtra Lok Sabha battle. 

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly declared in the last few days that the BJP will cross 370-plus seats and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will get 400-plus seats in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections. 

(With inputs from Dnyanesh Jathar)

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