A day after the Shiv Sena Sena ended up with just about half the number of seats won by the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Maharahstra Assembly, party leaders reached out to the former alliance partner.
“Uddhav Thackeray will take a proactive stand if the BJP contacts him. Our decision will be in the affirmative,” said party MP Anil Desai.
He said that the Shiv Sena’s only condition is that it stands for a United Maharashtra and does not support the division of the State.
Mr. Thackeray told party MLAs at a closed door meeting that he had no ego issues in considering an alliance proposal from the BJP. However, he also said that the Shiv Sena was willing to sit in the Opposition if the BJP did not contact it, a senior party functionary said.
Asked how the party would reconcile partnering with the BJP given its acrimonious poll campaign, Mr. Desai said, “We both attacked each other during the campaign but now the bitterness is over.”Advantage BJP
However, the BJP is in no hurry to break bread with its former ally and is set on driving a hard bargain. The offer of unconditional support from the Nationalist Congress Party has already given the BJP additional leverage.
Besides, it has started getting in touch with smaller parties and Independents. “At least 10-15 MLAs from smaller parties are in touch with us. We have the support of 135 MLAs,” claimed party MP Kirit Somaiya.
The term of the current Assembly ends on November 7. After the collapse of the Congress-NCP alliance on October 26 the then Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan resigned paving way for imposition of Central rule.