The three parties - the Shiv Sena, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Republican Party of India (A) - are not too happy with the seat-sharing formula they have worked out as there was dispute over some electoral wards. However, pressured by the Congress-NCP deal announced two days ago, the trio sealed the pact on Thursday.
The three parties would ideally have preferred to discuss the seat-sharing formula more thoroughly for a few more days, but that would have meant that the alliance would not get a head start in declaring candidates, putting together a poll strategy and reaping the benefits of starting the campaign early. The alliance wants to kickstart its campaign even before the Congress-NCP combine complete their seat-sharing discussions.
Insiders said the alliance rushed into the agreement after the sudden announcement of the Congress-NCP tie up.
Though there were a few hiccups, sources from all three parties said there were no big surprises in the arrangement. The RPI had demanded 30 seats, and has settled for 29. "Of the wards given to us we will try to put the right candidates and will make the best effort to win there," said RPI president Ramdas Athawale.
Sources said Vinod Tawde, the BJP's general secretary, who called on Athawale, promised him that the RPI would be given its due share in power after the win. This will include chairmanship of key civic committees. The RPI has also been promised a fair number of Assembly seats in 2014, said sources.
BJP state president Sudhir Mungantiwar said he appreciated the RPI giving the BJP preference in certain seats. "We have tried to please our party workers in most cases, and the RPI's co-operation helped," he said.
All seats given to the RPI, barring two, are seats that are neither Sena nor BJP strongholds, giving rise to rumours about it being an alliance of convenience.
The coming days are likely to see clashes between workers of the three parties. The BJP workers in Chembur attacked their own party office after word spread that ward no. 134 was being handed over to the Sena.