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BJP to finalise Haryana, Maharashtra candidates on Modi’s return 

New Delhi, September 22

With the Election Commission (EC) announcing dates for elections in Haryana and Maharashtra, the Central Election Committee (CEC) of the BJP is expected to finalise candidates for the two poll-bound states it holds after Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns from his high-profile US visit around September 28.

Party sources say the CEC is likely to meet once Pitr Paksha ends on September 28 and the Navratri begins on September 29.

The EC on Saturday announced October 21 as the date of single-phase polling in Haryana and Maharashtra.While in Haryana, senior leaders say, “Things are settled and the aim is to maximise the number of seats to create a new record,” the BJP is yet to concretise the contours of its diffiult partnership with ally Shiv Sena which is seeking an equal share in the 288-seat Maharashtra Assembly. 

The highest number of seats ever won by a party in Haryana was in 1977 when the erstwhile Janata Party bagged 75 out of 90 in the aftermath of Emergency. In the current Assembly, the BJP has 47 seats. After winning all 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana in 2019, the BJP launched ‘’Mission 75’’ for the Assembly polls. The BJP is also dealing with the problem of plenty in Haryana. Several sitting MLAs have expressed worries over safety of their seats in the upcoming polls.

In Maharashtra, the BJP is yet to balance the difficult seats’ equation with ally Shiv Sena. Everyday is a new day with new speculations, new theories and new commentaries coming from state leaders. The latest is 162 seats for the BJP and 126 for the Sena of the total 288 in the Maharashtra Assembly.

It is expected that the upcoming meeting of the top leadership of the two allies will soon finalise the final number of seats.

In 2014, the BJP and the Shiv Sena contested the state Assembly elections separately after they failed to arrive at a seat-sharing formula. The BJP won 122 and the Sena 63 and the two came together later to form the government.The remaining 113 seats went to the Opposition — the Congress, the NCP and others. It is these 113 seats that the BJP is willing to share with the Sena and the rest.

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