BJP's insistence on Shiv Sena's "unequivocal support" to LK Advani's candidature for Prime Ministership and neither party wanting to relinquish claim on the Kalyan Lok Sabha seat have become stumbling blocks in the formalisation of the saffron alliance for the elections.
"Neither BJP nor Sena wants to leave the Kalyan seat for the partner. This, despite BJP being fully aware that Sena holds sway in the constituency, which has over 16 lakh voters," a senior Sena leader told PTI.
"There was an overwhelming sentiment at a meeting of senior Sena leaders in Mumbai on Friday night that at no cost should the Sena relinquish claim on Kalyan seat," the leader said.
"If BJP state unit president Nitin Gadkari can try to browbeat us by asking for our unconditional support to Advani's candidature, then Sena should also adopt a strong position on Kalyan seat," he said.
Gadkari had objected to a statement of Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut that Sena chief Bal Thackeray and the Marathi people wanted a Marathi (read NCP chief Sharad Pawar) as the Prime Minister.
"BJP leaders have now decided to directly ask Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray to explain his party's position on the issue of Advani's candidature," a state BJP functionary said.