BJP, Sena discuss election strategies

BJP, Sena discuss election strategies

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena met on Wednesday to discuss Rajya Sabha elections to  and alliance prospects for the coming Lok Sabha poll.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and BJP president Rajnath Singh held an hour-long meeting here on how to retain three of seven Rajya Sabha seats from Maharashtra they had held. BJP's general secretary in-charge of Maharashtra Rajiv Pratap Rudy was also present.

Of the three Rajya Sabha seats, two were with the Shiv Sena—represented by Bharatkumar Raut and Rajkumar Dhoot—and one with BJP’s Prakash Javadekar. While the Shiv Sena has the numbers to win one seat, with Dhoot expected to be fielded again, Javadekar is also set to come back on the BJP’s steam.

It is learnt that the Shiv Sena leader took up the candidature of former RPI leader Ram Das Athawale, who had joined the BJP, and requested Rajnath Singh to accommodate him from another state, including Madhya Pradesh, but he was not very forthcoming.

A keen contest will be in the offing for one seat with elections to the Upper House slated for February 7.  Two seats each may to go to the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party.

Besides, the two leaders are believed to have discussed the prospects for an alliance for the LS poll from Maharashtra, which is important for the Modi-for-PM campaign. 

The BJP-Shiv Sena Opposition alliance was joined by Swabhimaani Shetkari Sanghatana, headed by Lok Sabha member Raju Shetty, who is said to have considerable clout in the rural belt of Western Maharashtra.

Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut told a news agency that BJP and Shiv Sena are the oldest ideological allies whose tie-up goes back to over 20 years.

 The two parties ran a coalition government in Maharashtra between 1995 and 1999.

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