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Mahayuti seat-sharing deal — BJP 28, Shinde 14, Ajit Pawar 5

A party source said the BJP had planned to offer only 12 seats to Shiv Sena, but its survey on these seats made it realize that all these were tough ones to win against Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT).

MahayutiMUMBAI : After two phases of Lok Sabha polls and a lot of back-and-forth, the ruling Mahayuti in Maharashtra announced the seat-sharing for Lok Sabha polls on Wednesday. The BJP will contest 28 seats, while CM Ekanth Shinde-led Shiv Sena 14 and NCP five. The RSP will field candidate on one seat.

The Shiv Sena announced its remaining candidates for Thane, Kalyan and Nashik seats on Wednesday. Initially, BJP was not ready to concede the South Mumbai, Thane, Mumbai North West, and Nashik seats to CM Ekanth Shinde-led Shiv Sena. However, it conceded all these seats.

A party source said the BJP had planned to offer only 12 seats to Shiv Sena, but its survey on these seats made it realize that all these were tough ones to win against Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT).

“The BJP decided that rather than contesting the ‘losing seats’, it should to offer them to Shiv Sena,” said a party source. This deal will help the BJP in apportioning blame on Shinde if his faction fails to win the promised number of seats,” said a party leader.

A Shiv Sena leader claimed that in negotiations with the BJP, CM Shinde showed his political shrewdness and brought the 14 Lok Sabha seats for his faction. “On the other hand, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, a partner of Mahayuti, also has an equal number of MLAs in this government, but he got only five seats. Therefore, Shiv Sena is in a better position today in Mahayuti,” said the Sena leader.

In 2019, the BJP contested 25 seats. This election, it is contesting 28. “The party feels that by contesting as many seats, it can at least repeat the previous winning number, 22 seats. This is a very close contest, therefore, BJP is putting its all efforts into the polls,” said an observer.

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