With the Maharashtra poll verdict indicating a lead for Congress-NCP combine, BJP-Shiv Sena on Thursday conceded defeat and blamed the Raj Thackeray-led MNS for cutting their votes resulting in their poor-showing.
"We accept defeat...We lost in Mumbai, we lost miserably in western Maharashtra and we could not achieve our aim," BJP Vice President BJP Gopinath Munde said.
"MNS appears set to win about 13 seats after garnering around 5-6 per cent votes. After all, these were our votes," he said.
Expressing disappointment over the poll verdict, Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi said, "We never expected these results...if it is a defeat, it has to be accepted by everybody."
Refuting suggestions of fighting between him and BJP Maharashtra chief Nitin Gadkari, Mr. Munde said, "We campaigned unitedly. There is no question of fighting between us. The MNS is the only one reason."
There have been reports of differences between Mr. Munde and Mr. Gadkari on various issues concerning the functioning of the State party unit.
Mr. Munde rubbished suggestions that infighting in the BJP's state unit or at the centre had cost it dearly in Maharashtra.
"This talk about differences is wrong. It is only in public perception," Mr. Munde's whose relations with State BJP chief Nitin Gadkari has been under severe strain, said.