BJP-Shiv Sena alliance in Maharashtra over..?

udhavNEW DELHI / MUMBAI : The Shiv Sena-BJP alliance in Maharashtra is over, a report claimed on Thursday.A leading English news channel quoted BJP sources as saying that they have given up on the 25-year-old alliance after failing to resolve the seat-sharing deadlock with the Shiv Sena.The development came shortly after BJP president Amit Shah cancelled his planned visit to Mumbai for the second time in two days.
Shah was due to travel to Mumbai yesterday to hold talks with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray amid deadlock in talks over seat-sharing for the October 15 state elections.While the visit was postponed yesterday, it was cancelled altogether this morning.  As the BJP hinted at ending its 25-year-old alliance with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra today, the allies were set for one last shot at a patch-up.”As far as we are concerned, the alliance is over,” a national BJP leader told Shortly afterwards, the Sena made another attempt at reconciliation.Top Sena sources said, “We are calm. We are waiting for an announcement if any. As of now, talks are still on.”
An early sign of a possible break-up was BJP president Amit Shah’s decision to cancel his trip to Mumbai today for the second straight day. He was expected to try and resolve the seat-sharing row between the two parties for the October 15 polls to the 288-seat Maharashtra assembly.amit_1839327g
The spectacular performance of the long-time allies in the May national election became a turning point in their ties. The BJP won 23 of the state’s 48 seats and the Sena won 18. The BJP credited the win to a wave in favour of Narendra Modi, making it clear that it was no longer ready to play second fiddle to the Sena in Maharashtra.As the party upped its stakes, demanding a higher share of seats than it has ever contested in Maharashtra, the Sena held steadfast to its belief that these are two different elections.
For the Sena, contesting and winning more seats is crucial; for its chief Uddhav Thackeray, this is the best shot at becoming Chief Minister. The party with more seats gets the top post. BJP sources were emphatic that they saw the alliance as over after the Sena refused to give an inch more than what they offered.Earlier this week, the two parties had appeared to agree on a formula that would allow the BJP to contest the 130 seats it wants, leaving 151 for the Sena. But smaller parties insisted on a greater share.
The Sena made it clear that it will not concede any more seats, the BJP has to.A split is certain to trigger massive realignment ahead of the Maharashtra polls.The rival Congress-led alliance is also on the verge of splitting, amid reports that Sharad Pawar’s NCP or Nationalist Congress Party is in touch with the BJP. (with inputs from Mumbai)

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