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Raote doubts Sena-BJP tie-up for Maha polls over seat share

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Senior Shiv Sena leader Diwakar Raote on Wednesday did not rule out the possibility of his party contesting the upcoming Maharashtra assembly polls separately in the event of not getting 144 out of the total 288 seats to contest in a seat-sharing arrangement with the ally BJP for which intense haggling is underway.

The Transport Minister also hinted that any rethink on the Nanar project in the coastal Konkan, which was put on hold by the BJP-led state government ahead of Lok Sabha polls, might be non-negotiable for the Sena.

"The alliance with the BJP was formalised earlier this year on the (promise of) relocation of the Nanar refinery out of the Konkan region and equal sharing of (144) seats (between the Sena and the BJP). If that does not happen, I doubt whether the alliance will stay," Roate told a Marathi channel.

Earlier in the day, another Sena leader and Minister of State for Home Deepak Kesarkar said the decision to scrap the Nanar refinery project in the Konkan had already been taken.

The project is caught in the political crosshairs ahead of polls.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray recently said the proposed metro car shed in Aarey Colony in Mumbai will go the Nanar way.

However, in comments which are seen as hardening the BJP's position vis-a-vis the Sena, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday told reporters that if residents of Ratnagiri district wanted the Nanar project he was willing to talk to them.

The contours of the seat-sharing formula between the saffron allies are yet to be finalised, as both the parties have hardened their positions on allocation of seats.

According to sources, Sena might accept 120 seats to contest.

Notably, Thackeray had said in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that alliance with the BJP was inevitable.

However, he recently said sarcastically that he would ask the CM to send him a list of constituencies Sena will get to contest "because leaders of the BJP are coming up with different seat-sharing formulae".

The 60-million tonne per annum refinery-cum- petrochemical complex has been conceived as the largest such facility in the world, which was supposed to be set up on over 15,000 acres.

State-run oil majors have tied up with Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for the refinery project, which entails an investment of Rs 3 lakh crore.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, September 18 2019. 21:25 IST