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BJP-Sena seat-sharing: Shiv Sena wants to keep 155 seats and give 126 to BJP

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Mumbai (Sept 20, 2014): Shiv Sena has further hardened its stand on seat sharing arrangement with an indication that it was not prepared to compromise on its ''Mission 150'  for the 288 member Maharashtra assembly poll slated for October 15.

Shiv Sena offered a new formula whereby it will contest 155 seats while 126 by BJP and seven to Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana.

Further, Shiv Sena asked BJP to leave at least 11 seats to other Maha Yuti allies including Republican Party of Indiai, Rashtriya Samaj Party and Shiv Sangram from its quota.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackereay, who is not ready to give more seats and leave party's claim over chief minister's post, will make the formal announcement on Sunday whether or not to continue its alliance with BJP at the meeting of party's head of city, taluka and district units.

Shiv Sena, who did not want to identify, told Business Standard, ''BJP should not treat Shiv Sena alike other NDA allies as Shiv Sena has remained with it during good times and bad times too. The seat sharing agreement should be based on mutual trust. BJPd did not even consult Shiv Sena during the removal of Maharashtra Governor or appointment of new Governors. Shiv Sena is keen to maintain its alliance with BJP but not ready to sacrifice its pride.''

The two allies have been squabbling over the number of seats each of them will contest. The BJP had earlier demanded that both the main parties in the coalition should contest 135 seats each but it was rejected by Shiv Sena.

BJP general secretary and Maharashtra assembly in charge OP Mathur, who last night met Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray's son and youth wing chief Aditya, said that it has not received Shiv Sena's new offer. Mathur told media personnel, "There is no new proposal from the Sena. The alliance partner can come talk to us. We will go to Delhi with our list (of candidates) tomorrow".

He left for Delhi to attend meeting of the party's central parliamentary board slated for Sunday.

The state BJP core committee is holding series of meetings to discuss various options for seat sharing arrangement with Shiv Sena.

BJP's leader of opposition in the state council Vinod Tawde said it has been BJP's efforts to maintain its over 25 year old alliance with Shiv Sena and further strengthen the Maha Yuti in a bid to defeat the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra.

Further, Tawde said that BJP and Shiv Sena should discuss exchange of 59 seats where Shiv Sena never won since 1990 polls and 19 seats which BJP never bagged.