As alliance talks with shiv Sena almost reached a no-return stage, BJP has decided to go it alone and contest all 288 seats in Maharashtra assembly elections, said sources while Uddhav’s 151-119 formula take-or-leave angered the Delhi leadership of the national ruling party.
Earlier, Shiv Sena said on Sunday that it will contest all 288 seats in the state alone if the BJP does not agree to 119 seats to contest in the state. The final announcement will be made by both parties on Monday, unless Prime Minister Narendra Modi prevails upon Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, as per reports.
In fact, Uddhav Thackeray went ahead on sunday with the process of finalising some names of contestant from his party giving strong signals of no alliance to BJP anymore. “The party workers have given me the authority to take a decision and I will do it with responsibility, keeping everything in mind. We are making the last effort to save the alliance. 151 seats for Shiv Sena, 119 for BJP and the rest 18 for others,” he said.
Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vinod Tawde reacted immediately criticising the tough stance taken by Thackeray. “Uddhav Thackeray may have given us a formula but the feeling in the BJP is that the alliance should go on. And if that is to happen, there can be no ‘final’ formula. Till a final decision is made, discussions can keep on happening,” he told ANI.
Now that BJP is at the receiving end, though it was not interested in claiming the chief minister’s post, reduced number of seats further means that it has to play second fiddle to the Shiv Sena’s rule, if the combine wins the elections. Being a national ruling party, BJP may have to decide whether to leave Maharashtra entirely to its junior partner or retain bargaining power after showing its strength winning more seats in the elections on its own.