In a bid to salvage its 25-year-old alliance with Shiv Sena, the BJP on Monday sent a fresh proposal to the latter, offering it to contest on 130 seats in the forthcoming assembly polls in Maharashtra.
The development was confirmed by BJP’s in-charge of Maharashtra, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who was quoted as saying to the media that his party has now offered 130 seats to Shiv Sena with respect to the upcoming assembly polls in the state.
“We have now offered 130 seats to the Shiv Sena. It is a very liberal proposal and we hope that Shiv Sena will agree to it,” Rudy was quoted as saying to reporters.
This comes hours after Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray put a new offer on the table and offered 126 seats to the BJP.
According to a news agency, Thackeray called up two senior leaders of BJP and told them that Shiv Sena is now ready to give 126 seats, but the BJP wants 130. However, nothing has been finalised as yet.
Shiv Sena had on Sunday offered to cede the BJP only 119 out of the total 288 seats in Maharashtra Assembly. BJP has climbed down to 130 seats from its earlier demand for 135.
Earlier in the day, reports had claimed that Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah telephoned Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and urged him that the alliance must continue. However, Shiv Sena later denied receiving any call from the BJP.
Insisting that the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance must continue, Shah had reportedly urged Thackeray to rethink on Shiv Sena’s “impractical” proposal to BJP in which Shiv Sena refused to yield beyond 119 seats to the coalition partner.
State BJP poll in-charge Om Mathur, meanwhile, arrived in Mumbai this morning to hold talks with the Shiv Sena chief in this regard. Rudy also expressed hope that both parties would continue to move ahead on the same path and a positive outcome will be reached shortly.