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No alliance yet in Maharashtra; Shiv Sena demands 126 seats, BJP rejects

The ongoing suspense over seat-sharing between state allies Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena continues, as the coalition is yet to announce the seat division between them for the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections. 

No alliance yet in Maharashtra; Shiv Sena demands 126 seats, BJP rejects

Mumbai: The ongoing tussle between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena over seat-sharing for Maharashtra Assembly election is far from over with the BJP rejecting Shiv Sena's demand for 126 seats. Sources told Zee Media that BJP president Amit Shah has rejected Shiv Sena's demand for 126 seats and Deputy CM post for Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray's son Aditya Thackeray.

Earlier on Thursday, sources told Zee Media that Shiv Sena has demanded 126 seats while the BJP is willing to offer 122 seats to its regional ally. BJP president Amit Shah, working president JP Nadda and state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also held a key meeting on Thursday to reach a conclusion for seat sharing.

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On Wednesday (September 25), Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and CM Devendra Fadnavis had shared a stage at an event in Navi Mumbai, and confirmed that the alliance was still intact.

Maharashtra has a total of 288 Assembly seats, and Shiv Sena had earlier demanded an equal division of seats. Sources said that earlier Shiv Sena was adamant on contesting 144 seats but the BJP's reluctance to leave so many seats for Sena has forced the party to scale down its demand to 126 seats. The Shiv Sena has also demanded the candidature of Aditya Thackeray as deputy CM as compensation for less number of seats.

Earlier, the sources had also suggested that Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray had asked his partymen to remain prepared to contest the upcoming Assembly election without an alliance with the BJP, but he was also unwilling to go solo in Assembly poll and is hopeful that Shiv Sena and BJP would seal the seat-sharing arrangement before the poll.

Even though BJP and Shiva Sena contested the 2014 Maharashtra Assembly election separately, they came together after the results to form a government. In 2014, the BJP emerged as the single-largest party with 122 seats while the Shiv Sena bagged 63. The Congress and NCP won 42 and 41 seats respectively.