Shiv Sena-BJP alliance headed for rocky waters amid trust deficit

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Mumbai, Sep 24: The 25 years old Shiv Sena-BJP alliance tonight appeared heading for rocky waters, with neither party willing to concede seats, in an indication of the trust deficit ahead of the October 15 Assembly elections in Maharashtra.

"The Sena leaders tried to incite smaller constituents of the Mahayuti (the opposition grand-alliance) against us," a top state BJP leader said here this evening, after another day of hectic parleys.

The BJP leader, who did not want to be named, said Shiv Sena was not willing to contest less than 150 seats, leaving 130 for BJP and 7 for others. "How will the allies agree to such a few seats," he said.

"This formula was proposed by Sena leaders to us yesterday but later the Sena people tried to convince our other allies that it was the BJP which floated this formula," the leader alleged.

"This sort of behaviour is something which has raised our concerns," he said. "By not willing to come down from this figure of 150, the Sena is making others insecure, indicating that it does not trust rest of the allies in Mahayuti," the BJP leader said.

BJP would have no issue if Sena agrees to contest 145 seats, leaving 125 for BJP and 18 for the allies, he said. Sena president Uddhav Thackeray is visiting the Tulja Bhavani temple in Tuljapur tomorrow.

Asked if anyone from BJP would be present, the leader quipped: "You take your wife to the temple, not your alliance partner."

The Mahayuti allies RSP, SSP and Shivsangram earlier today accused Sena and BJP of betrraying them on the allocation of seats. However, later they toned down their attack after meeting leaders of both the parties separately.


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