The BJP and Shiv Sena’s decision to contest 150 and 124 seats has not gone down well with smaller parties like Rashtriya Samaj Paksh and Republican Party of India (A). Rashtriya Samaj Paksh chief Mahadev Jankar expressed his displeasure over the seat sharing issue. According to Jankar both Shiv-Sena and BJP have bagged major chunk of seats and have allotted very few seats to smaller parties. Jankar said, “BJP has deceived me and cheated my party.”
BJP spokesperson Avdhut Wagh told Afternoon Voice, “I am unaware about what Mahadev Jankar said hence I won’t be able to comment on this matter. I have not heard about his clip. The smaller allies had demanded BJP’s symbol for contesting election and we agreed to their demand. We have not forced them to contest on BJP’s symbol.”
Jankar has also threatened to break the alliance. RSP has demanded 10 seats but BJP agreed on only two. BJP was pressuring RSP to field candidates on BJP symbol and were ready to leave 10 seats if agreed. However Jankar refused the offer and compromised with 2 seats Daund and Jintur. Jankar said that injustice has been done to his party. He called a press conference to inform about the irregularities in seat sharing process.
RSP enjoys the support of Dhangars community which is one of the biggest communities. RSP has called a meeting of its state executive on Monday and will take a final call. He added that the decision to contest polls from Jintur and Daund constituency will be taken by party workers.
Jankar said, “The discussion pertaining to seat sharing has been finalised. Discussion was held with Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The BJP and Shiv Sena have cheated us. Injustice has been meted against my party. I will contest the assembly polls on my party’s symbol. Seats were allotted to my party from Delhi but I don’t know what went wrong at the state level. I inquired with the Chief Minister about this but he said that he is unaware about the proceedings.”
The BJP has been trying to persuade its smaller allies like RPI (A), Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, Shiv Sangram and Rayat Kranti to contest the polls on lotus symbol. RPI (A), Shiv Sangram and Rayat Kranti candidates will contest on the lotus symbol while Rashtriya Samaj Paksh will contest on its own symbol.
On the other hand, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale said that his Republican Party RPI (A) was not satisfied with the seat sharing arrangement among NDA constituents in Maharashtra but will support the alliance to keep Ambedkarite community in power.
“RPI is not satisfied with the seat sharing in BJP-Shiv Sena-RPI alliance. But for the Ambedkarite community to keep sharing power, RPI will support the alliance,” Athawale said.