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Sena offers 126 seats, BJP wants 130

Sena offers 126 seats, BJP wants 130
Highlights

With tough bargaining and posturing hindering a decision on the fate of the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance in Maharashtra, the uncertainty over the Congress-NCP alliance also continued.

New Delhi: With tough bargaining and posturing hindering a decision on the fate of the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance in Maharashtra, the uncertainty over the Congress-NCP alliance also continued. According to insiders, one of the aspects delaying the decision is that this is the inauspicious Pitra Paksha as the per the Hindu calendar, and final call would be taken only after September 24th, when this period ends.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar with party leaders Praful Patel and Sunil Tatkare during a meeting in Mumbai on Monday
In a bid to salvage his party's 25-year-old alliance in Maharashtra for the polls, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Monday put a new offer on the table. 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. Talks between the two parties in this regard are still on.

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 BJP 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.

Meanwhile, with less than a week left for nominations to close for Maharashtra Assembly polls, top Congress and NCP leaders will meet on Tuesday in a last ditch attempt to resolve the seat-sharing deadlock and salvage the 15-year-old alliance.

NCP's Core Committee chaired by party chief Sharad Pawar went into a huddle on Monday afternoon where it reaffirmed that the alliance should continue but insisted on getting a larger share of the state's 288 Assembly seats than 124 offered by Congress.

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