BJP-ShivSena 25-year-old alliance ends in Maharashtra

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MUMBAI: The 25-year-old BJP-Shiv Sena alliance split on Thursday amid continued deadlock over seat-sharing for the October 15 Maharashtra assembly polls.

After several rounds of talks over the last few days, senior state BJP leaders announced on Thursday evening severing of the ties between the two parties, blaming Shiv Sena’s “inflexibility” for it.

“We have conveyed our decision to snap ties to Shiv Sena. The decision was taken with a heavy heart,” Maharashtra BJP chief Devendra Fadnavis told reporters after a meeting of the state party’s core committee.

BJP, however, hinted at the possibility of a post-poll alliance with its estranged ally, saying the party would not criticize Sena during the campaign and remain friends.

“Our aim is to prevent the corrupt Congress-NCP government from coming to power. We will not criticize Shiv Sena during the campaign, we don’t want any bitterness with our ally of 25 years,” leader of opposition in the assembly Eknath Khadse said.

Fadnavis said BJP will go to polls with smaller ‘Mahayuti’ allies.

He said BJP had worked out a seat-sharing deal with Mahadeo Jankar’s Rashtriya Samaj Paksha and Raju Shetty’s Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana.

Our talks with Vinayak Mete of Shiv Sangram are in final stages and we will also speak to RPI’s Ramdas Athawale, Fadnavis said.

“We reiterate that Shiv Sena is still our friend. We will not criticize Sena and our target will be the corrupt Congress-NCP combine,” he said.

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