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Will burst Diwali crackers: BJP-Sena alliance confident ahead of Maha polls

Maharashtra will go for a single-phase elections on October 21. Counting of votes will be taken up on October 24

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Uddhav Thackeray, Devendra Fadnavis

Chief Minister on Saturday said the BJP and the Shiv Sena will contest the next month's Assembly polls together.

will go for a single-phase elections on October 21. Counting of votes will be taken up on October 24.

The CM also exuded confidence that he will retain the post after elections.

He dismissed media reports that the BJP will contest 162 out of total 288 seats and the Sena 126.

Fadnavis' remarks come a day after Sena president asserted that both the parties will contest the elections in alliance, and that an announcement on the seat sharing formula will be made in a couple of days.

"I am saying with no uncertainty that we will contest the Assembly polls along with Shiv Sena. The seat-sharing talks are still on, do not trust the reports," Fadnavis said while speaking at the "India Today Conclave 2019" being held here.

Referring to the Sena pitching for equal sharing of the 288 seats, the chief minister said all details about the seat-sharing arrangements will be formally announced at a press briefing.

To a question, Fadnavis said the BJP did not dictate terms to the Sena and that decisions between them are taken "amicably".

On the Sena's criticism of his government through party mouthpiece "Saamana", Fadnavis quipped, "I don't read Saamana".

He said all the decisions taken by his Cabinet were "unanimous" with the support of Shiv Sena ministers.

"No Shiv Sena minister had second thought about any of the decisions in the last five years (since BJP-led government came to power). So, we are not concerned about what happens outside," he said in an oblique reference to 'Saamana'.

Responding to a query on whether he will get another term as the chief minister, the CM retorted: "Do you have any doubt?"

He also said the decision to appoint Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray as deputy chief minister, in the event of the NDA government returning to power, will be taken by the Sena.

Fadnavis said he looked at "positively" Aaditya becoming active in

"He is fanning out parts of the state, trying to understand issues pertaining to I welcome his decision to join active politics, I take it positively. He has to lead Shiv Sena one day. He is going through the process," Fadnavis said.

The chief minister further said people believe the BJP will retain power, and added he will work in Mumbai.

Questioned about the talks of him joining national politics, Fadnavis said the BJP decides tasks for him.

'Preparations complete', says Shiv Sena

"The 'Yuti' (alliance) will burst crackers a day before Diwali (due later in October). Our preparations are complete," Sena spokesman Sanjay Raut told reporters here.

Senior BJP leader Vinod Tawade said a BJP-led alliance government under Chief Minister will emerge victorious once again.

"In the next one month, we will ensure the report card of our development work of the last five years reaches the people as against the erstwhile 15-year rule of the Congress-NCP combine. That's what we intend to do in the next five years," said the School Education Minister.

Meanwhile, when asked about the ECI not announcing the date for the byelection to Satara Lok Sabha constituency represented by NCP's Udayanraje Bhosale before he joined the BJP last week, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said Bhosale will work to ensure victory of BJP-Sena candidates.

Bhosale had reportedly wanted the bypoll announcement to be made with the schedule of the state assembly polls.

"It's true that the Lok Sabha bypoll has not been declared along with the assembly schedule. But, Udayanraje, the 13th descendant of Chahtrapati Shivaji Maharaj, is now a BJP worker and he will work to ensure victory of the nominees of the BJP and Sena," he said.

When asked whether the seat-sharing pact between the Sena and the BJP will be announced on Sunday by Union Home Minister and party Chief Amit Shah during his visit here, Patil said, "I have no idea".

Various reports about contours of the seat-sharing formula are doing rounds.

Sena president on Friday said the "formula" was decided during the Lok Sabha elections, where the two parties had a pre-poll alliance.

The BJP had won the maximum 122 seats and and Sena 63 seats out of the total 288 constituencies in the 2014 assembly polls, which they contested separately.

First Published: Sat, September 21 2019. 14:00 IST