BJP will get 3/4th majority in Maha: Amit Shah

BJP will get 3/4th majority in Maha: Amit Shah

BJP chief Amit Shah. PTI Photo

That the BJP and ally Shiv Sena are engaged in a battle of nerves in Maharashtra became apparent on Sunday, when BJP chief Amit Shah formally sounded the bugle for the Assembly polls but skipped mentioning the Uddhav Thackeray-led party in his speech, though he talked about the NDA winning a three-fourth majority.

Addressing a rally here, Shah gave clear indications that the BJP would raise the removal of special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 at the hustings.

However, Shah not mentioning the Sena in his speech and later keeping his meetings with BJP workers restricted to poll strategies fuelled speculations.

"Polls for Maharashtra and Haryana have been announced. I am sure the BJP will win with a majority. In Maharashtra, the NDA (BJP, Sena and smaller allies) will have a three-fourth majority (in the 288-member House)," he said, avoiding mention of the Sena.

His statement comes at a time when the BJP and the Sena are trying to finalise a seat-sharing deal for the crucial elections. When contacted, a senior BJP leader said no meeting was planned between Shah and Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday.

Notably, Shah had spent more than three hours at Thackeray's residence "Matoshree" here in February this year, to seal an alliance for the Lok Sabha elections.

However, since the BJP won a massive mandate in Lok Sabha elections, no leader of the party, including Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, has visited Thackeray's residence.

Shah also said Fadnavis would continue to hold the coveted post after elections, a statement that might not go down well with the Sena, which is projecting Uddhav's son Aaditya Thackeray as its nominee for the coveted post in the event of the NDA returning to power.

"The Fadnavis government worked along side Narendra Modi government at the Centre. The Modi government got a second term and I am clear voters have made up their minds to give Fadnavis another term," Shah said.

As part of a strategy to better its 2014 poll tally of 122 seats in Maharashtra, the BJP has been inducting leaders from opposition Congress and the NCP, to expand its base.

Maharashtra will go to polls on October 21 in a single phase. Counting of votes will be taken up on October 24.

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