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Maha divorce: BJP, Sena go single
Saffron partners end 25-year alliance over seat sharing
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

The split story
Buoyed by the 2014 LS results in which the BJP-Sena alliance won 42 of the 48 seats, the BJP upped the ante and demanded 135 of the 288 Maharashtra Assembly seats
Sena responded saying it would leave only 119 seats the BJP had contested earlier, but agreed to concede a few more seats. The BJP later climbed down to 130
The four smaller parties of the ‘Mahayuti’ — the RPI, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha and Shiv Sangram — threatened to walk out of the alliance after their share of seats dropped down to seven from 18
The split finally happened after the Sena stuck to its ‘final offer’ of contesting 151 seats while proposing 127 seats for the BJP, instead of 130
Amit Shah
Amit Shah, BJP president

It was an old alliance which we wanted to continue. Things have not worked out because Shiv Sena's proposal was not acceptable to us.
Shrikant Sharma, bjp national secy

From political friends to foes
Sena contests two seats under BJP symbol after Pramod Mahajan brokers deal. Loses both seats following sympathy wave after Indira Gandhi’s killing

1989: Mahajan stitches together a coalition based on Hindutva ideology

1990: Sena contests 183 of 288 seats, leaving the rest for the BJP. Sena’s Manohar Joshi is made Oppn Leader, causing heartburn within the BJP

1995: Hindutva wave post-Babri riots and Mumbai blasts bring Sena-BJP to power in the state
Uddhav Thackeray
Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena chief

2014: BJP leader Nitin Gadkari meets MNS chief Raj Thackeray ahead of LS polls, upsetting Sena. Allies finally split over sharing of seats

Very sad that the state BJP chose to part ways with 25-year-old ally when we sided with them even in their ‘bure din’ (bad days) unconditionally.
Aditya Thackeray, uddhav’s son

Mumbai, September 25
The BJP today formally ended its troubled alliance with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. Sena leaders Eknath Khadse and Devendra Fadnavis told reporters the party would go it alone in the October 15 Assembly elections.

“We tried our best to keep the alliance together,” said Khadse, adding that both parties could not agree on seat-sharing and were thus parting ways. “We had to take the painful decision to part ways,” said Fadnavis, who is BJP’s state unit president.

Though it was clear for the past two days that the 25-year-old alliance was on the verge of collapse, efforts were on for a patch-up. The last meeting between the two parties ended in a walkout by BJP leaders.

The leaders later attended a core committee meeting of the party and decided to formally sever ties with the Shiv Sena, sources said.

Earlier today, Fadnavis and the party’s Leader of the Opposition in Legislative Council Vinod Tawde walked out in a huff after Sena’s interlocutors refused to concede seats to the four smaller parties in the alliance.

“The Sena’s proposals show they do not want to accommodate the BJP and the other allies,” Fadnavis told mediapersons after walking out of the meeting.

Sena leaders Anil Desai and Diwakar Raote, however, blamed the BJP for being obstinate. “The BJP is desperate to end the alliance,” said Raote. He alleged that the BJP leaders left without even considering the proposals sent by the Sena.

The Sena is now expected to begin an acrimonious campaign against the BJP instead of targeting the Congress-NCP government.

“We have been betrayed by the BJP and now our leader Uddhav Thackeray will give a fitting reply to them,” Raote said. The breakpoint came after the Sena leaders categorically stated they would not back down on their decision to contest 151 of the 288 seats in the Assembly.

With the BJP insisting on contesting 130 seats, the two outfits squabbled on accommodating the four smaller parties in the alliance. The smaller parties threatened to walk out of the alliance after their share of seats came down to seven from 18. The Sena proposed that the BJP contest 127 seats, instead of 130.

On its part, the Sena offered to field three candidates of the smaller parties under its own symbol. It was also suggested that the BJP field Mahadev Jhankar of the RSP under its lotus symbol. But the national party was not keen on such an arrangement and walked out.

The BJP has, however, kept a window of hope open. “We will not criticise the Sena and target the Congress and the NCP instead. We will try for a post-poll alliance with them,” said Khadse.





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