RPI announces seat demands in Maharashtra

Mumbai, April 23 (IANS) Attempting to strike an early bargain, the Republican Party of India presented its seat share demands for the next Lok Sabha and Maharashtra assembly elections from its allies here Tuesday.

RPI president Ramdas Athawale said that its allies – Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should allot three or four seats out of 48 for the Lok Sabha polls and around 35 seats out of 288 in the assembly elections, both due in 2014.

“We took the risk of joining the SS-BJP alliance at the insistence of the late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. Accordingly, the alliance should give us around these number of seats. In case this does not happen, it may be difficult for them to come to power,” Athawale told media persons here.

The RPI joined the alliance as part of a mega-alliance envisaged by the late Bal Thackeray two years ago.

Athawale also urged the alliance partners to convene co-ordination meetings to start talks on seat-sharing for the next year’s elections.

Replying to a query, he said he recently met Home Minister R. R. Patil to discuss the instance of atrocities on Dalits in the state.

“He has promised to hold another meeting in early May. We want strict against those accused in atrocities against Dalits,” Athawale said.

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