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Maharashtra polls: Will BJP accept Sena’s 150-126 formula ?

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Mumbai: In a last attempt to save the 25-year-old alliance, the Shiv Sena on Tuesday decided to offer 126 seats to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for October 15 assembly polls in Maharashtra.
Sources said that as per the new formula put forth by the Shiv Sena, the BJP will contest 126 seats while Sena will fight 150 seats, leaving 12 for smaller allies.
However, final decision whether the BJP will accept the Sena’s offer or not is expected to be announced by today evening.
Top Shiv Sena leadership today held talks with the BJP leaders at Vasant Smriti Bhavan, BJP office in Dadar. Shiv Sena group leader in the Maharashtra Assembly Subhash Desai, party spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut were among others who attended the meet.
Meanwhile, reports suggested that the BJP core committee has agreed on the latest seat-sharing formula of the Shiv Sena.
BJP’s Maharashtra poll in-charge Om Mathur and state party president Devendra Fadnavis were among those present at the meeting.
Leader of Opposition in Assembly Eknath Khadse and Leader of Opposition in Council Vinod Tawde also attended the meet.
Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Tawde said both the parties want the alliance to continue.
“It is the desire of Sena and BJP that the alliance continue,” Tawde said.
“No leader from either party wants the 25-year-old alliance to break,” he added.
“A new formula (on seat-sharing) was discussed today,” the Sena leader said.
“A final decision will be taken by today evening after consulting our ‘Mahayuti’ allies,” the leader added.
“It is the thinking of Sena and also BJP that the alliance continue. The common man wants to defeat Congress-NCP government in the state,” Tawde said.
Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said, “Both parties today agreed that the alliance should remain. Both parties are firm that the old alliance should continue.”
“A new proposal came up today and it will be discussed with our other alliance partners later today,” Raut said. RPI, RSP, SSP and Shivsangram are the other partners of the ‘Mahayuti’ (grand alliance).
BJP had earlier rejected the formula put forth by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray of his party contesting 151, BJP-119 and allies 18 seats for the elections to the 288-member state Assembly.

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