BJP leaders may have dismissed Shiv Sena’s resolution to go solo in the Parliamentary and Assembly polls as a bargaining tactic, but the Sena claims that this decision is part of their strategy to scupper chances of the BJP turning the dominant party in their state by riding piggy-back on them.
Sena leaders claim to have arrived at this decision based on a clinical arithmetic formula. In the 2014 assembly polls in which the BJP and Sena contested independently, the BJP had won 122 seats of the 288 seats while the Sena won 63 seats. The BJP was runners-up in around 57 seats, whereas the Sena stood in the second slot in 62 seats.
“It is easy to assume that the BJP will not settle at contesting less than 170 seats during the 2019 elections if we were to discuss a tie up. That leaves us with only 118 seats. How can we reconcile to that? For years, we have been the bigger party in the state and now, suddenly, we would be asked to contest lesser seats,” said a Sena leader.
He admitted that Sena was aware that if it contested on its own, it will not come to power. “We are also aware that without tie-up, even the BJP will not be able to come to power,” he said.