A day after several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders demanded that the party should contest the Maharashtra state Assembly Elections on its own; its alliance partner Shiv Sena ridiculed the claim.

“Why should we even reply to what some second-rung leader of the BJP says? The seat sharing will be decided by our leaders and the national leaders of the BJP,” said Anil Desai, Sena secretary and Rajya Sabha MP.

Dismissing reports that the BJP is using pressure tactics with the Sena to force them to change the existing seat sharing pattern, Mr. Desai said that such decisions will be taken only by the highest leadership of both the parties.

While speaking at the BJP’s state council meeting on Thursday, party leader Madhu Chavan said that the Shiv Sena has always taken undue advantage of BJP’s accommodative stance, but now time has come to be firm with Sena.

According to sources within the Sena, the party has prepared a ground level report for all 288 assembly seats in the state. Party president Uddhav Thackeray has asked the district-level office-bearers of the Sena to be prepared for any situation.

As per the old seat sharing formula, the Sena contests on 171 seats, while the BJP gets 117 seats out of 288. Following the Lok Sabha results, the BJP has been demanding more number of seats.