New Delhi: With a little more than a week left for political parties to file nominations for assembly elections in Maharashtra, the two major political alliances in the state haven’t yet agreed on seat sharing arrangements.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) alliance with the Shiv Sena is in trouble, and the party has asked Union minister Nitin Gadkari to intervene to forge an agreement that could save the 25-year-old political partnership.
Differences have also come up between the Congress party and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which are in power in Maharashtra, on seat sharing.
According to a recently conducted poll by ABP News and Nielsen, if both alliances break before the polls and all the parties go it alone, the BJP may win 112 seats, the Shiv Sena 62, NCP 38, and Congress 45. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) will get 11 and others will win 19 seats, it predicted.
Riding on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the opinion poll indicates, the BJP will become the single largest party for the first time in the state assembly although it would be short of a simple majority.
The survey suggests the Shiv Sena will improve its present tally of 44, but will be in no position to form a government on its own.
With the differences within the two political groups widening, sections of both alliances are demanding they should sever ties with their respective partners.
Some BJP and Shiv Sena leaders are of the opinion that the two oldest allies should part ways and must contest alone. Similarly, the NCP too is ready to contest alone in the state.
The survey also suggested that if the BJP, Shiv Sena, Republican Party of India (RPI) and Swabhimani Paksha (SWP) remain together, the BJP is likely to win 122 seats in the 288-member assembly and the Shiv Sena may win 82 seats. RPI and SWP are expected to win three seats each.
The Congress-NCP alliance would win 55 seats. The survey indicates that the MNS can win 10 seats and others 13.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 42 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats from Maharashta in the general election and secured 49% of the votes. The survey indicates that in the assembly elections, the NDA will get 42% of votes while the vote share of the Congress-led alliance will be 28%.