The Shiv Sena on Wednesday night decided to break its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra over the issue of contesting the Chimur by-elections.
A senior Shiv Sena leader in Mumbai said the decision to pull out of the alliance was taken at an emergency meeting held at the party chief Bal Thackeray's residence, Mantoshree, here.
"The decision was taken after the BJP refused to leave the Chimur by-polls for the Sena. Chimur is a matter of prestige for us and we will not backtrack from our decision to contest the seat," the Sena leader said.
The 20-year relation between the two partners has soured ever since both have been at loggerheads over contesting for the assembly constituency.
The seat fell vacant after the then Shiv Sena legislator Vijay Waddetiwar quit the party and joined the Congress.
The Maharashtra BJP leaders have been maintaining it was in a better position to regain the seat.
BJP sources said Waddetiwar, on leaving the Sena, took away his entire support base to the Congress.
"With no party apparatus practically left, there is no point for the Sena to stick to its guns," the senior BJP leader said.
"We do not want to make any comment on the so-called breakaway of the Shiv Sena from the alliance in the state at this moment," he added.