Maharashtra assembly polls: BJP scales down its demand for seats from Shiv Sena

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New Delhi, Sep 22: BJP President Amit Shah on Monday stepped in to salvage the alliance with Shiv Sena for Maharashtra assembly elections as the party scaled down its demand to 135 seats, saying it is prepared for five less and even accept "the worst possible seats".

Shah spoke to Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and made a "very liberal offer" of accepting 130 of the 288 seats. He also offered to accept the "worst possible seats" which Sena has not won in the last 25 years of their alliance.

"Shah has spoken to Sena chief and that itself indicates that we are very very eager to have the alliance," BJP's General Secretay in charge of Maharashtra Rajiv Pratap Rudy said. "We are very keen that the alliance exists," Rudy told reporters on a day the party blew hot and cold on the alliance and said it is prepared to fight in the all 288 seats if it is "compelled" to break ties with Sena.

Thackeray had made it clear in Mumbai yesterday that his final offer to BJP was 119 seats while Sena will fight 151 seats, leaving 18 for smaller allies.

Rejecting the proposal, Rudy said "it may not be possible" as BJP had contested 119 seats last time as well. "We won't pull the plug. We are hopeful that a solution will be found. The general consensus (in party's Central Election Commission and Parliamentary Board meetings yesterday) was that we want to have an alliance and we should work for the alliance.

"It would be very disheartening if we have to break the alliance, so the proposal has been made," he said. The party has authorised Shah to publish the list of its candidates depending upon the fate of its alliance.

PTI

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