Mumbai: A day after Shiv Sena and BJP said that they will fight the October 15 Assembly Elections together, it appeared on Saturday that the 25-year-old alliance may still crack.
There is still no headway in the seat-sharing talks between the two alliance partners, with both the parties sticking to their stand over 'self-respect'.
As per latest reports, the Shiv Sena has made a final offer to the BJP whereby it will fight 155 seats in next month's elections. The BJP, as per Shiv Sena's reported offer, will contest on 126 seats.
The BJP is yet to react on the latest offer.
Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut, however, said, “Our mission 150 is still intact.” He added, “The party has left it to Uddhav Thackeray to decide on this (seat-sharing issue). Whatever he decides he will let us know by tomorrow.”
Earlier in the day, BJP's in charge of Maharashtra OP Mathur had denied receiving any proposal.
“We haven't received any proposal,” he told reporters.
BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain too had said earlier today, “Shiv Sena is an old alliance partner. The decision (on seat-sharing) should be taken keeping ground realities in mind.”
The two parties held back channel talks all through the night after announcing yesterday that they would fight the elections together and that the division of seats would be worked out amicably.
The announcement was made after a meeting last evening which was attended by top leaders of the two parties.
That meeting followed BJP's outright rejection of Sena's latest formula of 119-169 seats.
In the meeting held between OP Mathur and Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray here, besides other senior leaders, both sides had reiterated their willingness to stick to the alliance.
"There were some misunderstandings which have been clarified... both sides want to continue the alliance," said senior Sena leader Subhash Desai.
"Our aim is to make Maharashtra corruption-free and Congress-free. We will do everything that is in the interest of the state. We want to continue the alliance," said Aditya Thackeray who is credited with successfully ending the impasse.
What also managed to save the alliance was perhaps a meeting yesterday between Union minister Nitin Gadkari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi over the issue. Modi is reported to have asked Gadkari to not allow the alliance to collapse, said sources.
Last night, the Shiv Sena core committee also held a meeting to discuss the seat-sharing issue. However, no details of the meeting, which was also attended by party president Uddhav Thackeray, were available.
Apart from seat-sharing, the other point of contention between the two parties is of projecting Uddhav Thackeray as the next chief ministerial candidate.
There has also been no commitment from the BJP on who the candidate will be or from which party.