Shiv Sena keen to save alliance, offers 130 seats to BJP; smaller allies unhappy

According to the new proposal, Shiv Sena has offered its oldest ally BJP 130 seats and kept 151 out of 288 Assembly seats for itself.

Shiv Sena keen to save alliance, offers 130 seats to BJP; smaller allies unhappy

Mumbai: As the deadlock over seat-sharing for Maharashtra Assembly elections continues between Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party, reports on Tuesday said that the former led by Uddhav Thackeray has sent a new seat sharing proposal to the BJP.

According to the new proposal, Shiv Sena has offered its oldest ally BJP 130 seats and kept 151 out of 288 Assembly seats for itself.

If agreed upon finally, it would leave the smaller 'Mahayuti' allies with just 7 seats to contest and the two major partners would have a tough time convincing them to accept it.

Other allies of 'Mahayuti' are--RPI (Athawale), Rashtriya Samaj Paksh, Swabhimani Shetkari Paksh and Shiv Sangram.

Reports further say that Sena has conveyed to the BJP that if the alliance wins then Uddhav Thackeary should be made the chief minister. Interestingly, BJP has maintained that the CM should be chosen from the party which wins maximum number of seats in the upcoming polls.

Earlier today, both Shiv Sena nd BJP leaders said the two parties were "firm" on continuing the alliance as they resumed the deadlocked seat-sharing talks for Maharashtra polls.

Top state leaders of the two oldest NDA allies sat down for talks ending a tense stand-off, a day after BJP President Amit Shah called up Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in a bid to pull back the 25-year-old alliance from the brink of disintegration.

BJP had yesterday given a fresh proposal to the Sena, seeking for itself 130 of the state's 288 seats, a marginal climbdown from its earlier demand for 135, which its saffron ally had summarily rejected.

In an earlier proposal, BJP had suggested that the two major constituents of 'Mahayuti', a rainbow alliance of six parties, contest 135 seats each, leaving the rest for smaller partners which too had been trashed by Shiv Sena.

Senior Shiv Sena leaders including party MP and spokesman Sanjay Raut, its leader in the Legislative Assembly Subhash Desai and Rajya Sabha member Anil Desai drove down to BJP office in Dadar for the meeting, in an apparent softening of the party's stand after Uddhav's "final offer" of 119 seats to BJP on Sunday.

BJP's Maharashtra election in-charge O P Mathur, state President Devendra Fadvanis, Eknath Khadse and Vinod Tawde, Leaders of Opposition in the Assembly and Legislative Council respectively, were among those involved in the talks.

"Both parties today agreed that the alliance should remain. Both parties are firm that the old alliance should continue," Raut told reporters after the meeting.

"A new proposal came up today and it will be discussed with our other alliance partners later today," he said.

Tawde said neither party wanted the alliance to break.

"It is the desire of Sena and BJP that the alliance continues. No leader from either party wants the 25-year-old alliance to break," he said.

Tawde said a new seat-sharing formula was discussed but did not disclose the details. "A final decision will be taken by this evening after consulting our 'Mahayuti' allies," he said.

(With Agency inputs)

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