Mumbai: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will on Tuesday meet Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and discuss BJP's new offer in which the party has scaled down its demand to 135 seats, saying it is prepared for five less and even accept "the worst possible seats".
Meanwhile, the BJP has called for a meeting of all Maharashtra party workers today.
In a bid to salvage the alliance with Shiv Sena for Maharashtra Assembly Elections slated to be held on October 15, BJP president Amit Shah on Monday spoke to Uddhav Thackeray and made a "very liberal offer" of accepting 130 of the 288 seats.
He also offered to accept the "worst possible seats" which Sena has not won in the last 25 years of their alliance.
"Shah has spoken to Sena chief and that itself indicates that we are very very eager to have the alliance," BJP's general secretay in charge of Maharashtra Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
"We are very keen that the alliance exists," Rudy told reporters on a day the party blew hot and cold on the alliance and said it is prepared to fight in the all 288 seats if it is "compelled" to break ties with Sena.
Thackeray had made it clear in Mumbai on Sunday that his final offer to BJP was 119 seats while Sena will fight 151 seats, leaving 18 for smaller allies.
Rejecting the proposal, Rudy said "it may not be possible" as BJP had contested 119 seats last time as well.
"We won't pull the plug. We are hopeful that a solution will be found. The general consensus (in party's Central Election Commission and Parliamentary Board meetings on Sunday) was that we want to have an alliance and we should work for the alliance.”
"It would be very disheartening if we have to break the alliance, so the proposal has been made," he said.
The party has authorised Shah to publish the list of its candidates depending upon the fate of its alliance.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut emphatically reiterated on Monday that the next chief minister would be from his party.
Dismayed at the prospects of the impending break-up of the 'Grand Alliance', other smaller partners voiced their bitter disapproval and planned to contest the elections independently.
An irritated Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) chief Mahadeo Jankar told media persons that if the alliance collapsed, his party would contest a whopping 125 seats independently.
Similarly, the Swabhimani Sanghatana led by Raju Shetti is likely to contest on its own and according to preliminary reports, was looking at nominating 75 candidates.
Republican Party of India-A chief Ramdas Athawale said that it was imperative for the BJP-Sena to arrive at an understanding immediately, even as some party members prepared to file nominations.