Sena-BJP allies demand pound of flesh

Sena-BJP allies demand pound of flesh

RPI (A) president and Union Minister for Social Welfare Ramdas Athawale. DH File photo

Amidst the political heat in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP-Shiv Sena allies are now demanding their pound of flesh.

RPI (A) president and Union Minister for Social Welfare Ramdas Athawale on Monday said that they also have an offer from the Congress-NCP alliance.

“However, we have decided to stand firmly behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi. That does not mean we should be taken for granted and be ignored in the seat-sharing formula,” Athawale said, adding that they should have been given space in the seat allocation.

During a high-level meeting between BJP president Amit Shah, his Shiv Sena counterpart Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, it was decided that of the 48 seats, the BJP will contest in 25 and Sena will get 23.

In this backdrop, leaders of  Republican Party of India (Athawale), Rashtriya Samaj Paksha and the Shiv Sangram held a separate meeting on Monday to discuss the political strategy.

Athawale has demanded at least one Lok Sabha seat in Mumbai South or Mumbai North East, and one elsewhere in the state, either Latur, Ramtek or Solapur to contest. They also want eight to ten seats in the Assembly elections.

RSP’s president and animal husbandry minister Mahadev Jankar and Shiv Sangram chief Vinayak Mete also demanded that they should be suitably included in the BJP-Sena’s alliance.