Mumbai: The squabbling over allocation of number of seats to parties constituting 'Mahayuti' (grand alliance of Shiv Sena, BJP and four junior partners) continued on Wednesday with three small partners of the saffron constituents deciding to quit the combine.
Upset over 'paltry' allocation of seats for the October 15 Maharashtra Assembly polls, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana (SSS), Rashtriya Samaj Party (RSP) and Shiv Sangram accused Shiv Sena and BJP of "backstabbing" them.
In a fresh snub to BJP, the Shiv Sena, meanwhile, said it won't back off from its decision to contest at least 150 seats in the upcoming Maharashtra polls.
The Sena had submitted a fresh proposal to its alliance partners last night, keeping 151 Assembly seats for itself, giving 130 seats to the BJP and leaving out just seven seats for its junior alliance partners.
Shiv Sena's new proposal infuriated junior partners of the grand alliance.
"Shiv Sena and BJP have stabbed us in the back. SSP, RSP and Shivsangram have decided to leave 'Mahayuti' and contest the Assembly polls jointly," SSP leader Sadabhau Khot said here.
"We will declare our joint list of candidates this evening," Khot said.
He said they were brought into the grand alliance by late BJP leader Gopinath Munde, "we trusted him and came into 'Mahayuti'. But our house is being burnt while trying to douse fire in their (Sena and BJP) houses."
"By giving seven seats to four constituents (including RPI), they (Sena and BJP) have insulted us," the farmers' leader from western Maharashtra said, adding we apologise to people of Maharashtra for our mistake in aligning with such parties.
He alleged that there was a systematic plan to oust them from the `Mahayuti`.
"We had asked Sena and BJP two months ago if we had become a burden for them. We will go to people and organise a Sangharsh yatra in the state to expose our betrayal," Khot said.
"We were used. They offered us seven seats. We said we don't want a single seat. Instead, at last night's meeting, we asked that RPI leader Ramdas Athawale and RSP leader Mahadev Jankar be made Chief Minister by rotation," he said. Khot alleged that everyone tried to get more seats by
"Both the parties (Sena and BJP) indulged in that. We will tell this to people of Maharashtra and expose them," he said.
While, Jankar said, the Sena and BJP stabbed us in the back.
"They stabbed us while talking sweetly. We will expose their real face to people of Maharashtra," Jankar said.
"They treated us like beggars. Now we won't go to them. They should come to us if they want to talk to us," he said.
Shiv Sena has, however, refused to change its decision.
"Shiv Sena cannot contest anything less than 150 seats. The responsibility of keeping the Mahayuti together is with the BJP. If BJP agrees to let go off five seats, they still have six more seats that we have given up for them," senior Sena leader Ramdas Kadam told reporters outside party chief Uddhav Thackeray's residence here.
The Sena has already "sacrificed" 18 seats to keep the 'Mahayuti' intact, Kadam said.
Meanwhile, BJP president Amit Shah's visit to Mumbai has been cancelled, a BJP spokesperson said here.
Shah was earlier expected to reach here this evening amid the impasse over seat sharing among 'Mahayuti' partners. He was expected to discuss the alliance tangle with senior state BJP leaders, party sources had said earlier today.
(With PTI inputs)