RPI demands seats, silent on contesting on BJP symbol

Mumbai: Republican Party of India (RPI) led by Ramdas Aathwale has demanded 10 seats for the forthcoming Assembly election, but has kept a secret whether the party will contest on BJP symbol Lotus or not?

RPI Mumbai unit held a rally at NSCI Stadium in Worli on Thursday. The event was attended by CM Devendra Fadanvis, Union Minister of State Ramdas Athawale, Lok Sabha member Rahul Shewale, Ministers Mahadev Jankar, Suresh Khade and Avinash Mahatekar, among others.

It was being said Athawale will open his cards about whether RPI candidates would contest on Lotus or not. But he did not utter a single word about it. “We want 8-10 seats in the Assembly election. I am confident our alliance will win 240 seats in the poll,” Athhawale said.

Replying to his demands, CM Fadnavis assured him him that RPI will have its own representative in the state Assembly.

“It is now certain the BJP Shiv Sena-RPI-RSP grand alliance will again come to power in the state. But, I promise the next Assembly will have leader of RPI as its member,” Fadnavis assured among thunderous applaus from the audience.

Power follows me, says Athavale

“I am always criticised for compromising valuses to be in power. Actually, wherever I go, power follows me. When I joined the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance, they were in opposition.

Later, we came to power at the Centre as well as in the state,” Athawale stated, while addressing his workers. He also praised the BJP-Sena government for effective implementation of various schemes of SC and ST.

Won’t allow change in Constitution

Athwale also countered allegations of the Opposition and stated he would not allow the Modi government to change the Constitution.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a strong supporter of reservation of SCs and STs. The BJP is not anti- Ambedkar or anti-reservation. If any anti-Constitution thing happens, I am there to protect the Constitution,” Athavale said.

Echoing the same sentiment, CM Fadnavis said it was a malacious campaign of the Opposition parties that the BJP would end reservation. “In fact, when the 50 years limit of the SC and ST Reservation ended in 1997,

it was BJP PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee who extended this limit. We are not anti-Constitution. When Modi took oath, he saluted Constitution,” Fadnavis said.

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