Seating-sharing row: Sena dismisses BJP's ultimatum, says Uddhav to take final decision
Hours after BJP gave it an ultimatum to take a final call on the seat-sharing pact for Maharashtra assembly elections, Shiv Sena said tonight that it would not be dictated by anybody.
"We won't compromise on our self-respect. We met (party president) Uddhav Thackeray today and had a discussion on alliance. Shiv Sena does not obey anybody's ultimatum. The final decision will be taken only by Uddhav Thackeray," Sena MP Sanjay Raut told reporters here.
Thackeray called an emergency meeting of his close aides at his residence after BJP asked Sena to agree on a seat-sharing formula or face a break-up of the alliance.
Senior Sena leaders, including Gajanan Kirtikar, Sanjay Raut, Ramdas Kadam, Subhash Desai and Diwakar Raote, were present at the meeting.
Raut said the party top brass authorised Thackeray to take a decision on the alliance with BJP.
"Any decision taken by the party chief on the alliance with BJP will be final. The state will stand behind Uddhav Thackeray over whatever decision he takes," Raut said.
BJP had proposed, after its landslide victory in Lok Sabha polls, that both parties should contest 135 seats each (of the total 288 assembly seats). But Sena rejected this demand.
In the 2009 elections, BJP had contested 119 seats and Shiv Sena 169.
However, this time both parties would have to cede some seats for other members of their 'grand alliance' namely Swabhimaani Shetkari Paksha, RPI, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) and MLC Vinayak Mete's Shivasangram.