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Finalise seat-sharing by Sep 10, RPI tells Sena-BJP

In an indication of tension in the BJP and Shiv Sena-led opposition alliance ‘Mahayuti’ in Maharashtra, Ramdas Athawale’s RPI (A) today demanded clarity on seat-sharing, saying that it would reconsider its decision to be a part of the alliance otherwise.

“We have long been demanding that BJP and Shiv Sena should give at least 14-15 seats to us for the assembly. But there has been a complete stalemate over the seat-sharing. If there is no final decision by September 10, we will be forced to reconsider our decision to be a part of Mahayuti,” said Arjun Dangle, state spokesperson of RPI, here.

The saffron alliance, which put up a robust show in the Lok Sabha election – winning 42 of the 48 constituencies – is yet to seal the seat-sharing pact for the 288-member assembly, amid reports of differences between Sena and BJP.

Dangle added that there had been “discontent” among the party workers over the “lax attitude” of BJP-Sena with regard to seat-sharing, and final decision on future course of action will be taken at RPI’s state executive meet on September 10.

“We have only demanded seats where we can field strong contenders. Our workers need time to prepare themselves for the elections,” Dangle added.

Asked about reports that RPI may get only five seats, Dangle said the party will not settle for anything less than 14-15 seats and he “hoped” that BJP and Sena will give it the respect it deserves.

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