RPI slashes seat demand in Maharashtra polls from 47 to 20

Mumbai: Virtually conceding its shrinking bargaining power, the Republican Party of India-A Tuesday drastically reduced its demand for seats for the ensuing Maharashtra assembly elections from 47 to 20.

RPI-A chief Ramdas Athawale said though his party had demanded 47 seats, now it was ready to settle for just 20, including 13 in the Vidarbha region of eastern Maharashtra.

“We want that even the other alliance partners (barring Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party) should also reduce their quota demands and ensure that we contest the elections unitedly,” he urged.

The saffron ‘Grand Alliance’ is expected to finalise its seat-sharing formula by early August and the RPI-A was prepared to discuss the allocations as per regions or districts, he added.

Athawale, a Rajya Sabha MP, expressed confidence that in view of the thumping victory of the BJP-Shiv Sena in the last Lok Sabha in Maharashtra, they would also romp to power in the assembly elections.

He added that the RPI-A would demand the post of one state governor or a lt. governor from the Narendra Modi-led central government.

As far as power sharing in the state was concerned, the RPI-A is angling for 15 percent representation in the state cabinet, four legislative council members, and chairmanship of various state-run corporations, he added.

Incidentally, despite intense lobbying, the RPI-A failed to get a cabinet berth in the Modi government while the Shiv Sena managed to get only one.

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