The BJP and the Shiv Sena may have cemented their alliance for the upcoming state polls, but both the parties have strategically fielded candidates that will damage the prospects of the other.
Over 5,000 candidates had filed their nomination forms while 4,700 of them have been declared valid by the election commission for a total 288 seats. The BJP has fielded 164 candidates while the Shiv Sena has 124. The former is facing rebellion in 116 seats, while mutiny is brewing in the Sena faction in 60 seats against their joint candidates.
“A majority of rebels from both parties had withdrawn their nominations, but we are still facing challenges on 90 seats. We tried hard but could not convince these rebels to quell their plans, but most of them had switched off their phone,” said a senior BJP leader. Earlier, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had warned that rebellion had no space in the BJP.
“The alliance was forged out of compulsion and for the benefit of Maharashtra,” Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said at they party’s Dussehra rally on Tuesday.
Pratap Asabe, a senior political analyst said that the rebellion will surely damage the prospect of all candidates. “It will interesting to see who each will damage,” he said, “If the Congress-NCP candidate is weak, then this will help BJP-Sena rebel candidates. After the poll result, they (the rebels) will surely join either Sena or BJP.”
Sources in both parties told DNA that despite agreeging on a seat allocation, both parties had quietly fielded independent candidates.