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Athawale seeks 2 Lok Sabha seats for RPI(A) from NDA quota

Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Monday reiterated his demand that the Shiv Sena and the BJP leave one seat each from the alliance quota for his party, the RPI (A), for upcoming Lok Sabha contest.

The Dalit leader, whose party is a constituent of the BJP-led NDA at Centre and in Maharashtra, lamented the Sena and the BJP didn’t take his party into confidence when they recently sealed a seat-sharing pact for Lok Sabha elections.

“RPI (A) will like to contest two seats in Lok Sabha polls. We demand the BJP and the Sena leave one seat each from their quota for us,” he told reporters after attending a meeting of his party leaders here.

He said a negative message has gone to RPI (A) cadres in the wake of the Sena-BJP combine not taking his party along while announcing the seat-sharing deal.

As per the agreement, the BJP will contest 25 of total 48 LS seats in Maharashtra and the Shiv Sena 23. The ruling allies also announced to share number of assembly seats equally for upcoming elections, after accommodating their allies. Maharashtra has 288 Assembly seats.

Athawale also ruled out RPI(A) contesting separately or aligning with any another front.

The RPI (A) would send a proposal to contest either Mumbai South Central or Mumbai North East seats, and either of Solapur, Latur or Ramtek constituencies, he said.

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