BJP, Shiv Sena talks continue over 6 ‘difficult’ Mah LS seats
   Date :02-Apr-2024

BJP, Shiv Sena talks  
DESPITE burning the midnight oil over hard negotiations, the stalemate continues between BJP and Shiv Sena over six Lok Sabha seats, including Thane, Palghar, Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, Nashik, Sambhajinagar and Dharashiv. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis held three rounds of talks so far but could not arrive at a consensus as both have taken aggressive stands claiming the winnability factor in those six seats. Insiders from both parties pointed out that CM Shinde and DyCM Fadnavis have hinted that the workable solution will now be possible only after the intervention of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Of the six seats, Thane is held by Shiv Sena UBT after the split in June 2022, Palghar by Shiv Sena (led by Eknath Shinde), Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg by Shiv Sena UBT, Nashik by Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena, Dharashiv (until recently known as Osmanabad) bySena UBT and Sambhajinagar by AIMIM. The bone of contention is that BJP has staked claim over Thane, Palghar, Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, Sambhajinagar and Nashik while Shinde faction has made a strong pitch not to leave these seats to BJP. Both parties claim their better winning prospects riding on Modi wave and Modi ki guarantee. CM Shinde is not ready to give Thane seat considering it as a matter of prestige. Incidentally, Thane is CM Shinde’s home turf. On the other hand, BJP has argued that after the split in Shiv Sena, Shinde faction lacks a formidable candidate to take on sitting MP Rajan Vichare from the Shiv Sena UBT.
In Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, CM Shinde is under tremendous pressure from Industry Minister Uday Samant and his brother Kiran Samant to field the party nominee instead of leaving it to BJP. However, BJP is keen to nominate former Union Minister Narayan Rane and hopes to snatch the seat from Shiv Sena UBT. In Palghar too, BJP is confident to win the seat based on its increased presence and also because of the work of RSS and organisations affiliated to it. BJP hopes to get support from Hitendra Thakur-led Bahujan Vikas Aghadi in Palghar.