Maharashtra seat-sharing talks in NDA: Eknath Shinde's Sena wants 100 seats, NCP 80-90 in assembly elections

June 21,2024

After serious setbacks in the Lok Sabha elections, the NDA is gearing up for the Maharashtra assembly elections slated to be held in October-November. While there are no signs of cracks in the ruling NDA, there have been talks from partners - Ajit Pawar's NCP and Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena - for the clarity of seats they would get for the assembly elections. 

The Shinde group's Ramdas Kadam said that his party would have won a few more seats in the Lok Sabha elections if the seats had been announced little before the polls. He suggested that seat-sharing was delayed and that affected the NDA alliance. Shinde's Shiv Sena won 7 of the 15 seats it contested, while the BJP could win only 9 of 28 Lok Sabha seats.  

For the assembly elections, Kadam has demanded 100 seats for Shiv Sena. "We should get 100 seats to contest, and we will make sure that we win 90 out of them," the former state minister said on Wednesday at a function to mark the 58th Foundation Day of the undivided Shiv Sena.

Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal has also said that his party should get 80-90 seats to contest in the state assembly polls. 

The BJP, the largest party in 2019 in terms of assembly seats, would find itself in a spot and might not spare these many seats for alliance partners. While Shiv Sena may get a better share based on its Lok Sabha performance,  the NCP is unlikely to get what it is demanding as it did not find traction in the general elections and lost from its stronghold, Baramati. 

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis later said BJP is the largest party and will contest more seats in the state election. He, however, said that the seat-sharing formula would be finalised only after the leaders of the three parties meet and discuss it. 

In the 2019 assembly elections, the BJP was in alliance with the undivided Shiv Sena. The BJP had contested on 164 seats, while Sena fought on 126. The BJP had bagged 105 seats, and Sena 56. The undivided NCP emerged as the third-largest party with 54 seats. The Congress, which allied with NCP, had won 44.     

In the recent Lok Sabha elections, the ruling Mahayuti won 17 out of 48 seats. The BJP won 9 seats, Shiv Sena 7 and NCP 1. The opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi, comprising the Congress, Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) and NCP (SP) of Sharad Pawar, bagged 30 seats.