Kohima (Nagaland): Union Minister and Republican Party of India (Athawale) Chief, Ramdas Athawale on Monday asserted that if the NDA wants to return to power, it should give his party at least one seat to contest in Maharashtra.
After the announcement of seat sharing between Shiv Sena and BJP in Maharashtra for upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Athawale said, “If we don’t get even one seat, votes of Dalits in Maharashtra for BJP-Shiv Sena will be affected. If they want to come back to power in state and NDA wants to come back at the Centre, RPI(A) will contribute, so we should be given a seat. We will meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray,” he said.
Stating that there have been no deliberations on seat-sharing with him, he further added, “I believe if BJP, Shiv Sena and RPI(A) come together in Maharashtra, we can win 43 to 44 seats. But there has been no deliberation upon seat distribution to RPI(A). It might create unhappiness among the Dalit community. I had asked for one seat.”
Earlier on Monday, BJP chief Amit Shah had said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shiv Sena and BJP will fight shoulder to shoulder to win the coming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Maharashtra. As per the arrangement, Shiv Sena will contest 23 seats and BJP 25 seats of 48 Lok Sabha seats at stake in the state. In the Vidhan Sabha elections, they will contest on an equal number of seats.