Hours after threatening to quit 'Mahayuti' over 'paltry' allocation of seats for Maharashtra Assembly polls, three smaller partners in Shiv Sena-BJP led alliance indicated they would stay on following an assurance from Uddhav Thackeray that they will be given a "respectable" number of seats.
"Our meeting with Uddhavji was very successful. We have proposed to him a formula that can make every party happy. We have asked him to keep 150 seats for Shiv sena, leaving 120 for BJP and we will be satisfied with 18 seats. "We are going to meet BJP leaders now and hope this logjam will be sorted out today," Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathana leader and Lok Sabha MP Raju Shetty told reporters after his meeting with Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Vinayak Mete of Shiv Sangram, who was also present during the meeting, said junior partners in the alliance will get more than 7 seats. "We met Uddhavji and other leaders of the Sena. We have reworked a new formula which we will now discuss with BJP leaders today. Under the new formula smaller parties will be getting more than 7 seats to contest," Mete said.
Mahadev Jankar of Rashtriya Samaj Paksha said, "We are highly optimistic now. The Mahayuti is on its way to becoming a huge success." The saffron combine has four junior partners in 'Mahayuti', cobbled together ahead of Lok Sabha elections, including Raju Shetty's Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS), Mahadev Jankar's Rashtriya Samaj Party (RSP), Vinayak Mete's Shiv Sangram and Ramdas Athavale's Republican Party of India (RPI).
As the partners threatened to walk out of the alliance accusing Sena and BJP leaders of "backstabbing" them, state BJP president Devendra Fadnavis said," Our party has decided to contest the polls with all our alliance partners.
"They joined us before Lok Sabha polls reposing trust in us. They have to stay with us, we want them to stay with us and we are trying to see to it that they stay with us," he said.
The allies were angry after Shiv Sena yesterday floated the proposal keeping 151 of state's 288 Assembly seats for itself, allocating 130 to BJP and leaving a measly 7 for the smaller partners.