BJP may contest all seats in Maha: Rajiv Pratap Rudy

New Delhi: Not relenting on seat sharing in Maharashtra, BJP today said it would fight in all the 288 assembly seats if it is “compelled” to part ways with Shiv Sena, its ally of 25 years.

The statement from Rajiv Pratap Rudy, BJP’s General Secretary in charge of Maharashtra, came on a day when impasse over seat-sharing between both parties persisted with BJP leaders charging Sena with making no concrete offers but just talking of a seat-sharing formula through TV channels.

“In a contingent situation that the BJP is compelled not to contest with Shiv Sena, we would go it alone on all 288 seats but we will prefer that Shiv Sena comes along,” Rudy told reporters.

Party sources said they have prepared a list of candidates for a majority of seats barring “20-30” where they were still looking for appropriate names or expecting leaders from other parties to join them.

“We are not in favour of breaking the alliance. But we are also not in a mood of tolerating their (Sena) uncompromising attitude. There can be flexibility but we are getting to hear their proposals only on news channels,” a BJP leader said.

Thackeray had made it clear in Mumbai yesterday that his final offer to BJP was 119 seats while Sena will fight 151 seats, leaving 18 for smaller allies. BJP, which had said both parties fight 135 seats each, had rejected the proposal.

BJP is also cold to the idea of projecting Thackeray as the chief ministerial candidate of the alliance.

There were reports that BJP President Amit Shah spoke to Thackeray today and urged him to reconsider his stand on seat-sharing. But party leaders declined to confirm that Shah made any such call even as they said “messengers” of top leaders of both parties are in touch.

Shah is believed to have spoken to Thackeray yesterday when the party held its Central Election Committee and Parliamentary Board meeting.

Both the meetings, which had gone on for over three hours, were attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah, both of whom spent some time together separately, and other leaders.

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