New Delhi: The Shiv Sena and BJP have announced they will fight as almost equal partners in Maharashtra in the upcoming 2019 general election, setting aside their differences. MyNation had reported this back in January this year. The BJP will contest for 25 seats and the rest of the 48 will go to the Sena.

BJP president Amit Shah and Shiv Sena chief Udhav Thackeray met at Matoshree, the residence of the Thackerays, before announcing the seat-sharing agreement.

In 2014, BJP won 22 seats whereas the Shiv Sena won 18. 

Announcing the deal, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said, "We have buried our differences. We will fight on an equal number of seats."

One key demand of the Sena has been the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, to which Fadnavis said, " On Ram Temple, both the parties have a similar stand".

The smile, body language and vibes betrayed the long acidic exchanges between the allies, each of which wanted the lion's share from the alliance.

Shah reached the press conference venue along with Fadnavis, union minister Piyush Goyal and Prakash Javadekar. Sources told MyNation, the decision to announce the seat-sharing agreement was delayed as Sena wanted to finalise the seat-sharing of Maharashtra Assembly election as well.

Sena was banking on the fact that after three state losses, the BJP is on the back foot and, therefore, likely to be accommodate Sena's demands. Javadekar, who is from Maharashtra and known for his cordial relationship with the Thackerays, was appointed by Shah to seal the deal.

The imageries too played a key role as the announcement was made. A huge saffron background was put up even as the chairs meant for journalists and even leaders were draped in saffron, giving out a clear message that the two warring partners have finally agreed to join hands on the issue of Hindutva.

Also, there were two photos in the backdrop: one of Shiv Sena patriarch Balasaheb Thackeray and the other of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Then, of course, there was the greatest icon of Maharashtra and the nation: Chhatrapati Shivaji.