Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray may have denied any rift in the Sena-BJP alliance, saying his love for the party has not waned, but Maharashtra politics has been rocked by reports of NCP and Sena teaming up for the ensuing elections.
This, despite the fact that no leader of either party has come on record to comment on the 'marriage' between the Sharad Pawar-led party, which is part of the ruling alliance in the state, and the Sena which has shared power with the BJP at the state and Centre.
Pawar's statement in Sangli recently that his party was open to the option of alliance with any party except the BJP has also led to the vernacular media going to town over a possible tie-up between NCP and Sena.
"If the alliance does take place, it would be a potent combination, enough to give Pawar 40 of the 48 seats from the state, to help fulfill his old ambition of becoming the Prime Minister in case of a fractured verdict," a political analyst said.
A state BJP functionary said his party had been trying to impress upon the Sena leadership for the past three months that the saffron partners should have a joint poll strategy ahead of Lok Sabha polls but the proposal has been cold-shouldered by the Sena chieftains.