They said both leaders were holding discussions over the phone. If some remaining minor issues get sorted out, an announcement of the pact could take place as early as Monday. Shah is scheduled to address a party meeting in Jaipur on Monday. In the event of a final agreement, he may fly to Mumbai to announce the deal along with Uddhav.
The sources said Shah adopted a rather magnanimous attitude to keep the Sena aboard the NDA. The exact numbers of the two parties were yet to be fixed, but the sources claimed that the two leaders were working on the 50-50 formula for dividing Vidhan Sabha seats between themselves. This was in accordance with the Sena demand. The chief ministership was still an issue. The Sena was neither prepared to accept a rotational arrangement, nor the proposition that the partner with a higher number of seats after the poll outcome gets the post. Uddhav was insistent that irrespective of the final tally, the Sena should get chief ministership. This was necessary to avoid a mutual sabotage by the workers of the two parties to keep the numbers of the rival down.
As for the 48 LS seats from Maharashtra, the Sena had sought the Palghar (Reserved) seat, which was in the BJP quota in the 2014 polls. The Sena had been allocated 22 constituencies last time. The sources said the BJP may concede it to the Sena although its nominees had won from there in the general elections as well as a by-election held last year.
The sources said since the talks were at a crucial stage, both parties had to make last-minute adjustments. The broad terms had been worked out, while the numbers could change a bit at the last hour.