Mumbai: The tussle over sharing of seats for the forthcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra now threatens the 25-year-old ties between Shiv Sena and the BJP with reports on Friday suggesting that the two parties have decided to go alone in the electoral battle.
Sources also claim that the two sides will today hold a high-level meeting on the seat-sharing issue and formal announcement over the fate of BJP-Sena alliance will be made later in the day.
With the Shiv Sena refusing to budge even an inch, BJP national president Amit Shah is reported to have told the state uit leaders of the party to be prepared to fight the polls alone.
Development comes hours after Shiv Sena said that it would not be dictated by anybody while responding to BJP's ultimatum to take a final call on the seat-sharing pact for Maharashtra Assembly Elections.
"We won't compromise on our self-respect. We met (party president) Uddhav Thackeray today and had a discussion on alliance. Shiv Sena does not obey anybody's ultimatum. The final decision will be taken only by Uddhav Thackeray," Sena MP Sanjay Raut told reporters here.
Talks are on going, I am sure we will have a positive outcome to all this: MA Naqvi on Shiv-Sena BJP alliance
Commenting on seat-sharing row with BJP, Raut further said, “In Maharashtra, Shiv Sena is a party that gives, not a party that takes. If someone tries to insult Maharashtra, they will get a befitting reply.”
Thackeray had called an emergency meeting of his close aides at his residence yesterday after BJP asked Sena to agree on a seat-sharing formula or face a break-up of the alliance.
Senior Sena leaders, including Gajanan Kirtikar, Sanjay Raut, Ramdas Kadam, Subhash Desai and Diwakar Raote, were present at the meeting.
Raut said the party top brass authorised Thackeray to take a decision on the alliance with BJP.
"Any decision taken by the party chief on the alliance with BJP will be final. The state will stand behind Uddhav Thackeray over whatever decision he takes," Raut said.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader MA Naqvi has expressed hope that the seat-sharing impasse will be over soon.
“Talks are on going, I am sure we will have a positive outcome to all this,” Naqvi said.
BJP had proposed, after its landslide victory in Lok Sabha polls, that both parties should contest 135 seats each (of the total 288 Assembly seats). But Sena rejected this demand.
In the 2009 elections, BJP had contested 119 seats and Shiv Sena 169.
However, this time both parties would have to cede some seats for other members of their 'grand alliance' namely Swabhimaani Shetkari Paksha, RPI, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) and MLC Vinayak Mete's Shivasangram.