25-year old BJP-Shiv Sena alliance set to collapse in Maharashtra

The 25 year old alliance between the Shiv Sena and BJP is facing dark clouds for seat sharing in forthcoming assembly elections, reports said on September 19, 2014.

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A report on Zee News talked about sources who claimed that both parties have decided to play it single at the elections. Sources have also said that a high level meeting is scheduled for today where the issue of seat sharing and formal announcement over the alliance is expected to be discussed.

Reports have it that Amit Shah, the BJP national president, has told the state leaders to be ready for a lonely battle as Shiv Sena has refused to budge.

Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena had said that it would not like to any dictating verdict. This comes after the BJP had given an ultimatum to the party on taking a call on the seat sharing for the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly Elections.

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Sena MP Sanjay Raut told reporters, “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.”

The tone went from being genuine to aggressive as Raut 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.”

On September 18, 2014, Thackeray called a meeting to discuss on the ultimatum of seat sharing given by BJP. Ramdas Kadam, Subhash Desai, Gajanan Kirtikar, Sanjay Raut, and Diwakar Raote are the senior leaders who have attended the meeting.

Amit Shah at rally in Kolkata

After the massive victory in Lok Sabha polls, BJP had proposed that both Shiv Sena and BJP should contest on 135 seats each- a demand rejected by the alliance. There are a total of 288 Assembly seats in the state. Back in 2009, Shiv Sena had contested on a total of 169 seats, where BJP had candidates on 119 seats.

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For the next scheduled elections, both parties have to give up seats, thanks to the ‘grand alliance’ with other members like Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP), and Swabhimaani Shetkari Paksha  among others.

Another report on India Today said that Shiv Sena accused BJP of using the seat-sharing controversy as an excuse to break the 25-year-old alliance. Sources in Shiv Sena have been quoted saying that BJP has taken advantage of the deadlock to shun ties with the party, given that a 24-hour deadline has given for no reason.

A report on Times of India even quoted a senior BJP leader who on anonymity said to IANS, “It’s on the verge of breaking, only a formal announcement is awaited,”

For now the future of the alliance remains uncertain, as Shiv Sena has decided only to allow BJP on 119 seats if they wish to continue the alliance. Also, Sena has demanded that other smaller parties of the grand alliance should be included in the same quota.

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On the other hand, BJP seems to be in confidence with the Narendra Modi wave that has led to huge victory in the Lok Sabha elections in May.