Amid tension in the saffron alliance over seat sharing, the BJP on Thursday indicated that a solution could be in sight if Shiv Sena relents from its present position.
Addressing party workers in Kolhapur, BJP president Amit Shah said the BJP wants the alliance but not at the cost of self-esteem. “The BJP has walked two steps forward. Now it’s others' turn to come two steps forward. We want alliance but not by compromising our self esteem.”
The BJP president said the alliance is necessary to dethrone the Congress-NCP and bring a change of rule in Maharashtra.
"I want to ask the leaders of both parties, including the Shiv Sena, to resolve the issue by ensuring that both parties maintain their self esteem,”he said.
According to Shah the state leadership was not getting any response from the Sena despite making every effort to finalise a seat-sharing formula. “When I asked Devendra Fadnavis and Vinod Tawde about the alliance, they told me that they are making every effort but there has been no response.”
Shah has been on a two-day state tour since Wednesday. After visiting Mumbai in the morning he went to Kolhapur, his in-laws' place, to visit the famous Mahalaxmi temple.
Both BJP and Sena have been sending out signals that they could go separate ways if their demands are not met.
BJP Chief Amit Shah appeals Shiv Sena to sort out seat sharing problem and fight election along with BJP @HTMumbai— shailesh gaikwad (@shailesh505) September 18, 2014
The BJP, after the resounding victory in the Lok Sabha, upped the pressure on Shiv Sena demanding that both parties contest 135 seats each in the 288-member state assembly. The party also wanted Shiv Sena to swap some seats which they have never won. The Sena refused to give in.
In the last Assembly elections, the Shiv Sena contested 171 seats while the BJP contested 119.
Late on Wednesday night, Senior BJP leader and union minister for transport, Nitin Gadkari held talks with other party leaders. Party sources said BJP may settle for fewer number of seats if Shiv Sena reshuffles some of its seats with the alliance partner.
Elections for Maharashtra are scheduled for October 15.