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Ice broken; Sena, BJP hold talks to salvage alliance

September 19
23:14 2014

Ice brokenSena, BJP hold talks to salvage allianceMUMBAI: Having blown hot and cold through the day, Shiv Sena and BJP leaders finally sat down for talks after which they gave indications that a seat-sharing deal would be clinched for the October 15 Maharashtra assembly polls and the alliance salvaged.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray kept himself away from talks for which he deputed his son and Yuva Sena chief Aditya and Sena leader in the state assembly Subhash Desai, who met BJP’s Maharashtra election incharge O P Mathur.

Uddhav said that his party had given its proposal on seat allocation to BJP and was awaiting its response.

Late in the night, BJP leaders went into a huddle at opposition leader Eknath Khadse’s bungalow apparently to discuss the seat-sharing issue.

“There will be differences in any alliance. Both are showing no egos… we want to take the alliance ahead,” Aditya Thackeray told reporters after the meeting with BJP leaders, the first in about a week with BJP leadership.

“How to take the alliance forward will be discussed. Sena is looking at protecting the future of Maharashtra,” he said.

State BJP president Devendra Fadnavis said his party had given a proposal to Shiv Sena on distribution of seats and hoped there would be a positive response to it.

“Nobody wants to break the alliance. We have given a proposal and are hoping to get an appropriate and positive response,” he said.

Maintaining that the ball was now in Sena’s court, Mathur said, “They came to discuss… we have given our proposal and it is now for them to decide.”

The negotiations followed a core committee meeting of the state BJP where it was decided that a fresh proposal be sent to Sena on seat-sharing.

There were reports that Shiv Sena had offered BJP 119 seats with a rider that it also accommodate smaller allies of ‘Mahayuti’, a rainbow alliance including smaller parties like RPI (A) and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, in its quota.

Shiv Sena had earlier rejected BJP’s proposal that the two major allies of ‘Mahayuti’ contest 135 seats each and leave the rest for smaller partners.

Sena had contested 169 and BJP 119 of the 288 assembly seats in Maharashtra in 2009.–PTI

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