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Maharashtra: Bickering allies Shiv Sena and BJP likely to take decision on alliance by Saturday

The Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party will take the final decision over an alliance between the two parties before Saturday for the upcoming civic elections. BJP National President Amit Shah is expected to be in Mumbai enroute Kolhapur on Saturday.

On Monday, leaders from both Shiv Sena and BJP started the talks on an alliance for the civic elections scheduled on 21 February, 2017. The meeting which was arranged at the residence of Raosaheb Danve began in the evening and lasted till late in the night. Education minister Vinod Tawde, Housing Minister Prakash Mehta and Mumbai BJP President Ashish Shelar along with Danve discussed several issues with Sena leaders Anil Desai, Anil Parab and Ravindra Mirlekar.

Leaders of both the parties claimed that the primary level talks were successful and the outcome would be shared with their respective leaders. However, both the parties have agreed to finish the final talks on or before Saturday – 21 January, 2017. Sources said that Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray and Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis will soon take the discussion forward. The final decision is expected to take place on Saturday when BJP National President will be in the city.

Though the leaders maintained that there was no discussion over seat sharing and numbers, BJP, is said to have demanded 115 seats of total 227 seats.

In the 2012 civic election, the Sena contested 158 seats and won 75, whereas the BJP contested 69 and won 32 seats.

However, in the 2014 Assembly election, the BJP emerged as the number one party in Mumbai. Of 36 seats, the BJP won 15 seats, while the Sena won 14 seats.

This, and the recent results of municipal council polls have led BJP leaders to demand more seats than last time, if an alliance were to happen.