BJP-Sena alliance hits nadir: Can the saffron allies afford to go alone in Maha polls

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Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray
The two most trusted allies in Indian politics, Shiv Sena and BJP, are seemingly on the verge of split. Their alliance has been passing through rough road for the last few months but hit a major deadlock on Sunday when the BJP called off seat-sharing talks with its old partner. The BJP has apparently put aside the crucial talks after its chief Uddhav Thackeray questioned 'Modi wave'.

Speaking on the issue, State BJP president Devendra Fadanvis said there is huge discontent among the party rank over the statements made by the Sena leadership against PM Modi. He said the BJP has decided not to make any further effort to talk to them on seat-sharing.

Sena wants to go by 2009 formula, where it contested 169 seats and BJP on 119

Bhartiya Janata Party's tough stand is the latest chapter in an episode of unease with its ally ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly elections. The development, undoubtedly, has also cast doubts on the future of the alliance which seemed frontrunner in the polls.

Seat sharing talks bone of contention between two allies

The 25-year-old alliance hit a roadblock due to seat sharing. Post the Lok Sabha victory where the BJP won 23 of the State's 48 seats, the party has stepped up demand to contest more seats in the Assembly polls. The Sena had won 18 seats. But, the Shiv Sena wants to go by 2009 formula, where it contested 169 seats and BJP 119 in 288-member Assembly.

Now, both the parties have proposed two separate formulae and are adamant about not stepping back. The Shiv Sena has put that it won't accept anything less than 150 seats while the BJP is demanding half of the Assembly seats. The party is saying that the smaller allies of the grand opposition alliance can be given 18 seats and the remaining 270 seats can be shared equally between them.

The old allies cannot afford to go alone

No, surely not. The alliance partners are very well aware of the fact that this is the best chance to come to power in the State after 15 years. They know that their infighting will give advantage to the Congress-NCP alliance which is heading toward a distraous defeat in ensuing Assembly polls.

The BJP might be asking for big share, but at the shame time it must not forget that it has not enough leaders and candidate to lead the polls. This time the party would be fighting State elections in the absence of its two strong leaders Pramod Mahajan and Gopi Nath Munde. Also, it does not have any other leader who could match their charismatic appeals. So, the party must keep its alliance with Sena.

Sena, on its part, must recognise the BJP wave in the State, it should not be so adamant in its demand and should weigh BJP's demand also.

Most probably, the current tension between the old allies will die down soon as both know that they could not jeopardise the chance of getting into power, and if does not happen so the two will have to pay the price in the Assembly polls.

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