The 25-year-old alliance which had flounced Maharashtra in the recent Lok Sabha elections winning 41 out of the 48 seats came to an end after several days of penetrating wrangling over seat distribution for the Assembly elections scheduled for October 15.
After several rounds of talks over the last few days, senior state BJP leaders announced this evening severing of the ties between the two parties, blaming Shiv Sena’s “inflexibility” for it.
The last-ditch efforts to salvage the alliance appeared set to come a cropper after state BJP president Devendra Fadnavis and Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Vinod Tawde left the meeting midway, terming Sena’s proposals as “unaccomodative” of the allies.
“We have conveyed our decision to snap ties to Shiv Sena. The decision was taken with a heavy heart,” Maharashtra BJP Chief Devendra Fadnavis told reporters after a meeting of the state party’s Core Committee.
BJP, however, hinted at the possibility of a post-poll alliance with its estranged ally, saying the party would not criticise Sena during the campaign and remain friends.
“Our aim is to prevent the corrupt Congress-NCP government from coming to power. We will not criticise Shiv Sena during the campaign, we don’t want any bitterness with our ally of 25 years,” Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Eknath Khadse said.
Fadnavis said that BJP will go to polls with smaller ‘Mahayuti’ allies.
He said that BJP had worked out a seat-sharing deal with Mahadeo Jankar’s Rashtriya Samaj Paksha and Raju Shetty’s Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana.
Our talks with Vinayak Mete of Shiv Sangram are in final stages and we will also speak to RPI’s Ramdas Athawale, Fadnavis said.
“We reiterate that Shiv Sena is still our friend. We will not criticise Sena and our target will be the corrupt Congress-NCP combine,” he said.
Many proposals were given by Sena to BJP but none of them were acceptable to the BJP. According to reports, One of the proposals, was that Shiv Sena and BJP will contest 151 and 127 seats respectively leaving 10 of the state’s 288 Assembly seats for smaller allies. Additionally, it was said that three candidates of smaller partners of 6-party ‘Mahayuti’ will contest on Sena tickets and, similarly, BJP would accommodate one nominee in its quota of seats.
The alliance was formed in 1989, after talks between late Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray and late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan.