Shah's appeal came amidst a hardening of positions by both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena on their respective stance on seat-sharing as well as the next chief ministerial candidate. Senior state leaders have reportedly urged the central leadership to intervene and make a last-ditch effort to prevent the alliance from snapping - the second time in three days when such a possibility has arisen. BJP sources in New Delhi meanwhile claimed that Shah had called Uddhav Thackeray and made a fresh offer to save the alliance. However, well placed sources in the Sena and ally Republican Party of India-A denied that Shah had spoken to the Shiv Sena chief.State BJP chief Devendra Fadnavis also indicated that there are no more talks scheduled on the issue between the two parties. "We are not going to hold any more discussions with Sena on this. We will decide after they respond. The ball is in their court," he said.
Fadnavis also dismissed rumors that BJP in-charge for Maharashtra O.P. Mathur would be meeting the Sena chief. "There is no official information on this." In New Delhi, Rudy also made it clear that the BJP has no proposal to enter into a "pre-poll or post-poll partnership with any other party", including Nationalist Congress Party or Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, as speculated.
Meanwhile, Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut emphatically reiterated Sept 22 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.