BJP ends alliance with Shiv Sena while NCP snap ties with Congress as parties fail to reach a consensus over seat sharing issue.
The suspense over seat sharing agreement has finally ended as the BJP has taken a decision to sever ties with Sena while the NCP has ended its 15 year old alliance with Congress. Several rounds of discussions were held between BJP and Sena but no breakthrough was achieved. The BJP was upset with Sena which was reluctant to offer more seats to smaller parties like Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, Shiv Sangram and Rashtriya Samaj Paksha hence quit the alliance. The party nonetheless will continue its alliance with these parties. On the other hand, the NCP has decided to go solo in the assembly poll slated for October 15. Party national leader Praful Patel said the NCP can join hands with some like-minded parties
BJP leader Eknath Khadse said that they made all efforts possible to maintain the alliance but the options that were offered by Shiv Sena were unacceptable to them. The decision to split the alliance came after BJP President Amit Shah cancelled his Mumbai visit yet again yesterday even as a late night meeting between the BJP and Shiv Sena failed to reach any solution. Both the parties were missing the experience of Bala Saheb Thackeray, Gopinath Munde and Pramod Mahajan who were known to resolve the seat sharing deadlock. On the other hand, the next generation leaders like Devendra Fadnavis, Uddhav Thackeray lacked maturity to arrive at consensus over this issue.
Maharashtra BJP Chief Devendra Fadnavis said, “We had spoken to Uddhav and tried to take the alliance forward. Negotiations went on for so long that it only created an atmosphere of distrust. The Shiv Sena never showed any flexibility in their stand. They were adamant with their proposals and wanted us to accommodate accordingly. We cannot deceive our smaller partners and we told Shiv Sena that we need to take them along. No discussion will be held further. We are aiming for a Congress-NCP free Maharashtra.”
The 25-year-old alliance had sweeped Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra as BJP won 23 seats while Sena bagged 18 seats. The assembly election is scheduled to be held on October 15.
Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse said, “We had discussion with Shiv Sena but no headway was achieved. Since time is running out hence we had to take this decision which was tough for us. Shiv Sena was unwilling to part with more seats for the allies. We had an alliance of 25 years which has broken. We will work towards making Congress-NCP free in Maharashtra. “
The last-ditch efforts to salvage the alliance appeared set to come a cropper after state BJP president Devendra Fadnavis and Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Vinod Tawde left the meeting midway, terming Sena’s proposals as unaccomodative of the allies.
One of the proposals, according to reports, was that Shiv Sena and BJP will contest 151 and 127 seats respectively leaving 10 of the state’s 288 Assembly seats for smaller allies. Additionally, it was said that three candidates of smaller partners of 6-party ‘Mahayuti’ will contest on Sena tickets and, similarly, BJP would accommodate one nominee in its quota of seats.
The BJP argued that its superior performance in the national elections qualifies it for equal status. The Sena said the two elections cannot be compared. At stake is the chief minister’s post which the party with the more seats will get if the alliance is voted to power.